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Wed 5 Feb 2020 11:19 AM

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Two Kerala students from Wuhan under home quarantine fly to Saudi Arabia

Kerala state health minister K K Shailaja said the two students would be brought back immediately

Two Kerala students from Wuhan under home quarantine fly to Saudi Arabia

Residents and hospital visitors wearing facemasks walk outside the Government Medical College in Thrissur on January 30, 2020, where the first confirmed case of the SARS-like virus in India is kept in isolation. - (Photo by STR / AFP)

Two students from Kerala, who had returned from Wuhan in China recently and were under home observation for novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection in Kozhikode in Kerala, have left the country for Saudi Arabia, a top medical official in the district has revealed.

​“The two persons have left the state violating the State Health Department’s instructions to remain under home quarantine till the end of the 28-day incubation period of the virus," Kozhikode District Medical Officer V. Jayasree said, adding that “efforts were being made to trace the two persons”.

It was, however, not clear whether the students from Kerala could land in Saudi Arabia.

According to the district medical officer, the two students arrived in Kerala on January 15 from Wuhan. While they did not have any symptoms of the coronavirus infection, they had been quarantined.

Kerala state health minister K K Shailaja said the two students would be brought back immediately. She, however, did not elaborate on this.

Coronavirus free

The Saudi Health Ministry said on Monday that the kingdom remained free of coronavirus, with authorities taking all measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes the setting up of quarantine rooms in hospitals.

Ten Saudi students flown home from Wuhan in China this week were found to be free of the virus, but will remain in quarantine for a further two weeks. 

The departure of the two students came to light when the family members of the students informed health officials about it on Tuesday, in response to their queries on the health status of the students. 

India checks stepped up

Indian health officials are checking on those who are quarantined at home on a daily basis via telephone, while test results for the virus are being processed.

Kerala, which has reported the three positive cases of Coronavirus in India, has over 2,500 people currently under watch. All the three who have tested positive for coronavirus are medical students who returned from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak.

Only a few of the suspected cases in Kerala are being treated in hospitals, while the vast majority of them are being monitored at their homes.

After reports of the two students ignoring medical advice and leaving the country, surveillance has been stepped up at all airports in Kerala.

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