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Indian School Teacher Becomes First Foreigner To Contract New Chinese Coronavirus

Preeti Maheshwari, A Teacher At An International School In Shenzhen, Is Undergoing Treatment For A New Strain Of Pneumonia.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Shashikant Sharma | Updated on: 19 Jan 2020, 05:28:04 PM
India had Saturday announced to screen Chinese passengers for the new coronavirus.

India had Saturday announced to screen Chinese passengers for the new coronavirus. (Photo Credit: Representational Image)

New Delhi:

A 45-year-old school teacher from India has become the first foreigner to have contracted the mysterious SARS-like coronavirus in China. Preeti Maheshwari, a teacher at an international school in Shenzhen, is undergoing treatment for a new strain of pneumonia. She was admitted to a local hospital after she fell seriously ill last Friday.

On Monday, doctors had confirmed that she has contracted the virus and was shifted to the intensive care unit for the treatment, news agency PTI quoted her husband Ashuman Khowal as saying. He said that his wife was unconscious and doctors have said she could take a long time to recover.

According to the reports from Wuhan, where the virus started surfacing few weeks ago, 17 new cases have been reported, taking the total number of cases to 62. A total of 19 have been cured and discharged from the hospital, and the rest remain in isolation and are receiving treatment, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. So far, the virus has claimed two lives.

India Starts Screen Chinese Travelers For New Coronavirus

On Saturday, India had announced to screen Chinese passengers arriving on direct or connecting flights from the country. Air travellers arriving from China will be subjected to undergo thermal screening as a preventive measure following the outbreak.

"All passengers travelling from China to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), will have to undergo a thermal screening as a matter of precaution," Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said.

The MIAL said it has now expanded its existing passenger safety measures in compliance with the latest directive given by the World Health Organization (WHO) in case if any traveller is detected with the symptoms of the infection, believed to be a new Coronavirus.

The concerned passenger will be immediately shifted to the isolation hospital earmarked for CSMIA on advice of the APHO team, the aerodrome operator said, adding it will share a daily report with the ministry on the scanning of passengers.

"As reported by the Chinese authorities, this is a new type of coronavirus and is different from all other human coronaviruses. The World Health Organization has reported symptoms such as fever, difficulty in breathing and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates as the cause of the pneumonia," MIAL said in a press release.

What Is The Chinese Mystery Virus?

The World Health Organization have concluded the infection is a coronavirus, which is a broad family of viruses. So far, only six coronaviruses are known to infect people. The latest virus makes it the seventh one to have infected humans.

The symptoms of this new virus rang from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome had killed 774 people in China in 2002. According to some analysis of the genetic code, the new virus is closely related to SARS.

The Chinese government has said that there are 50 confirmed cases of the infection and two people have died. However, disease outbreak scientists from UK estimate nearly 1700 people might be infected from the virus. The new estimate has come after two cases of the outbreak, which started in central Chinese city of Wuhan, were confirmed in Thailand and in Japan.

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First Published : 19 Jan 2020, 05:28:04 PM