After 100 nurses from India working in Al-Hayat Hospital in Saudi Arabia were tested for the deadly Coronavirus, one nurse from Kerala’s Ettumanoor in Kottayam has been tested positive. She reportedly contacted the virus when she was treating a Filipino patient.
While the nurse in question is being treated and is reportedly responding well, another nurse, who had come in contact with her have also been quarantined.
As over 30 of the nurses quarantined hail from Kerala, the chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan wrote the External Affairs Minister, seeking his intervention. In the letter addressed to S Jayashankar, Vijayan wrote ‘Reports suggest some nurses working at the Al Hayat Hospital in Abha have contracted the virus. The MEA will have to intervene to ensure proper treatment and protection for them’. Relatives of some of the nurses who are quarantined have said that the nurses are being allegedly kept in shoddy conditions, all of them ‘herded like sheep’ in just two hospital wards, with little or no information about what is happening to them. Many have also complained that the tests administered to them are also not done in a professional manner and they are being identified randomly.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the Indian government, through the embassy in Saudi, has been closely monitoring the situation and no new cases have come to light. Muraleedharan also added that all possible assistance to the nurses are being extended by the embassy. Taking to Twitter, MOS, MEA said ‘About 100 Indian nurses mostly from Kerala working at Al-Hayat hospital have been tested and none except one nurse was found infected by coronavirus. The affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well’.
Even as thousands have been quarantined in China due to Coronavirus, the nurse working in Saudi Arabia became the first Indian to be affected. So far, the virus has infected 630 people across the world and claimed 17 lives. The World Health Organization(WHO) will take a call to declare Coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. So far, China has imposed a travel ban on seven cities and screening has increased in all airports across the world. Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China, shows symptoms of moderate upper respiratory tract illness, common cold, cough, sore throat and fever along with pneumonia.