The student, who was studying MBBS in China, returned to Odisha on January 11. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Representational)
A China-returned medical student hailing from Odisha's Kandhamal district was Friday referred to the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack after he developed cold and cough, an initial symptom of the new coronavirus (nCoV), official sources said. The student, who was studying MBBS in China, returned to Odisha on January 11 before the outbreak of the deadly virus and was suffering from cold and cough since. The student reported himself to Kandhamal Chief District Medical Officer Rajyashree Patnaik with the symptoms.
"I am an MBBS student. Since I have developed cold and cough. I was staying in a town close to Wuhan, the epicentre of novel coronavirus. I fear I have been infected with nCoV. Therefore, I seek assistance of the government," he told reporters at Phulbani, the district headquarter of Kandhamal.
"We have referred the student to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack since there is no provision of admitting such cases in Kandhamal," a doctor at the Kandhamal district hospital said.
Medicine specialist Bidyadhar Panda said the student had chest congestion. "He was staying in China for about four years. He feels feverish through there is no rise in body temperature today. His blood and throat swab samples have been sent for tests and the reports are expected in two to three days," the doctor said.
SCBMCH Emergency Officer BN Maharana said there are 48 beds, including 8 in ICU, created for the coronavirus cases. "The hospital is well equipped to deal with nCoV cases," he said. After the first nCoV case confirmation in Kerala on Thursday, the Centre announced that all persons who have come from China after January 15 will be tested for the virus, which has an incubation period of 14 days.
Odisha’s Health and Family Welfare Secretary N B Dhal Thursday said two persons came forward and informed the government that they returned to Odisha from China via Malaysia. "These two persons had no such nCoV symptoms. We have advised them home isolation and keeping vigil on their health status for 15 days," Dhal said.
Health experts say symptoms of the infection include high fever, difficulty in breathing and lung lesions. The novel coronavirus has been declared as a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.