For the first time, two positive cases of the novel coronavirus, one of them a woman, were detected in Gujarat, said officials on Thursday as it joined a growing list of states affected by the infection.
While one of the infected patients is from Rajkot, the other is from Surat, they said, adding both of them had come from abroad recently.
"Two suspected coronavirus cases of Rajkot and Surat are positive. Our teams have already taken necessary steps, including quarantine of all the contacts," the state health and family welfare department said in a tweet.
Samples of a young woman from Surat and a man from Rajkot came positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) after their samples were sent to the NIV, Pune for confirmation, the officials said.
On Wednesday, the health department had said these samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) after local labs' report came inconclusive.
"There are two suspected cases for which result in our labs is inconclusive so sample has been sent to NIV, Pune. As part of precaution, we are following all protocols for suspected cases such as contact listing and Quarantine of contacts" the department had tweeted.
After the results came positive, authorities in both the cities swung into action and are taking necessary steps.
"There were two suspected cases which we had sent to NIV for confirmation. One is a young woman from Surat who had returned from New York and another patient is a man from Rajkot, who had returned from Mecca.
"Both of them are positive for the coronavirus. They are under treatment and breathing without the help of ventilators," said principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi.
She said district as well as police officials of Rajkot and Surat have been asked to trace all the people who came into contact with the two patients.
In Rajkot, 17 persons who came into contact with the infected person have been put in a quarantine facility, said district health officer P P Rathod, adding screening of the area where the person lives is going on.
In Surat, authorities have stopped the entry of state transport buses of Maharashtra into the district and also halted bus services to the neighbouring state from Surat in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Maharashtra leads in coronavirus cases with nearly 50 infections till now.