R Senthil Kumar

Panaji; A 27-year-old man from Goa, who travelled to Italy and Finland last month and came in contact with a coronavirus patient, has been kept at an isolation ward of a state-run hospital here after he complained of cough and fever, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday.

The man, a native of Vasco town in South Goa, was working on a ship and returned to the coastal state two days back, Rane said.

"He had come in contact with a coronavirus patient mid-February while he was working on a ship," the minister said in a statement issued here.

He had cough and fever since the last two days after he returned, Rane said, adding that he has been kept at an isolation ward of the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) near here.

The man left for working on a ship in June last year. He travelled to Finland and Italy last month, he said. The patient had not touched the shore as he continued working on the ship. He returned to Goa by a Qatar Airways flight, Rane said.

Earlier, samples of two foreign travellers who were kept under observation at GMCH for suspected novel coronavirus infection tested negative on Monday evening. They were subsequently discharged from the medical facility.

The state health department has kept 19 patients under home observation, as per the latest official information.

The Mormugao Port Trust in Goa has banned the entry of cruise vessels till March 31 in view of the novel coronavirus threat, a senior official earlier said.

Infections in Italy topped the 10,000 mark more than anywhere but China and the number of deaths from coronavirus rose to 631 on Tuesday from 463 a day earlier, Italian Civil Protection authorities said.

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