Most of these nurses are from Kerala (Photo Credit: Pixabay)
One of the Indian nurses working at Al-Hayat hospital in Khamis Mushait of Saudi Arabia has been infected by the coronavirus. However, she has been affected with a different strain from the one that has claimed 18 lives in China, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah said on Thursday.
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, on Thursday said that out of about 100 Indian nurses working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested for the virus and only one has been found infected. The infected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and recovering well, said Muraleedharan in a tweet.
"About 100 Indian nurses mostly from Kerala working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested and none except one nurse was found infected by Corona virus. Affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well," he tweeted.
"Spoke to @CGIJeddah on Indian nurses quarantined at Al-Hayat Hospital, Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia due to Corona virus threat. They are in touch with hospital management and Saudi foreign Ministry. Have asked our Consulate to provide all possible support," he said.
Update from @CGIJeddah : About 100 Indian nurses mostly from Kerala working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested and none except one nurse was found infected by Corona virus. Affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well. @PMOIndia @MEAIndia https://t.co/jM0u5243GV— V. Muraleedharan (@MOS_MEA) January 23, 2020
Responding to his tweet, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah clarified that the nurse found positive for coronavirus was suffering for MERS-CoV and not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan).
"Dr Tarik Al Azraqi, Chairman, Scientific Regional Infection Control Committee, Aseer Region, has confirmed that d Indian Nurse being treated at Aseer National Hospital is suffering from MERS-CoV & not 2019-NCoV (Wuhan). We request everyone to refrain from sharing incorrect info," it said in the tweet.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, while the 2019 Wuhan coronavirus is a novel one, meaning a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. The coronavirus strain that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province has so far infected over 630 people and left 18 others dead. Confirmed cases have been reported from several regions including Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as in the US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, authorities have locked down the central Chinese cities of Huanggang, Ezhou and Wuhan, collectively home to nearly 20 million people. China banned planes and trains from leaving from these cities in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the disease which has already claimed 17 lives and infected more than 570.
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