India’s first COVID patient tests positive again

A medical student from Kerala’s Thrissur district, who was evacuated from China’s Wuhan province with coronavirus infection in January 2020, becoming India’s first COVID patient, has been found re-infested with the virus.

The re-infection was detected when the lady medico underwent RT-PCR test for a trip to Delhi. She was reportedly showing no symptoms of the infection.

According to Thrissur district medical officer K J Reena, she has been quarantined at home, along with her family members. But most importantly, she has not received the COVID vaccination yet, as vaccination for her age group has not yet commenced in full swing.

The girl was part of the first batch of Indian students stranded at a medical college in Wuhan, where they were studying medicine, when coronavirus was raging in the entire province. The students had desperately appealed for help as they reported they were running out of water and food. They were finally evacuated by an Air India flight with the help of the Indian embassy in China, which successfully established contact with the students.

The students belonged to various states including Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam and West Bengal. On being tested after arrival in Kerala, the Thrissur girl was found infested with the virus, the first such case in India.

She was admitted to the Thrissur Medical College, where she received treatment for three weeks and was finally discharged without any health problems. She could not return to Wuhan to continue her studies as the Chinese authorities have not yet authorised the return of the students apparently due to the spread of the disease in India.

The local health authorities in Thrissur, backed by their experience in dealing with the deadly nipah virus, enforced strict quarantine for the girl and managed to contain the spread of the virus.

The next COVID case in the state was reported when a family from Rome skipped the medical tests at the airport and went home; they later became sick and had to be hospitalised.

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