Home / News / India /  India's first Covid-19 patient, who recovered, tests positive for virus again

Kerla woman medical student, who was India's first COVID-19 case, has tested positive again, health authorities said on Tuesday.

"She is reinfected with COVID-19. Her RT-PCR is positive, antigen is negative. She is asymptomatic," Thrissur DMO Dr K J Reena told news agency PTI.

It was on January 30, 2020 that the third year medical student from Wuhan university tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the country's first COVID-19 patient, days after she had returned home following semester holidays.

After nearly three weeks of treatment at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital, she had tested negative twice for the virus, confirming her recovery, and was discharged on February 20, 2020. According to the state health department at that time, 34 people were in isolation wards across various hospitals in the state.

After the first positive case was reported from Thrissur, two other Keralite students from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, had tested positive in Alappuzha and Kasaragod districts last year.

The southern state has been reeling under the surge in novel coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Although hailed for being able to control the spread of the virus, Kerala's former Health Minister KK Shailaja, the state is still under the radar of the Centre for its rising cases.

Apart from that, Kerala is also fighting a battle of rising Zika virus cases. Currently, there are 21 cases in the state, informed Kerala Health Minister Veena George.

Zika is mostly spread through the bite of the Aedes mosquito but can also be sexually transmitted, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus was first discovered in monkeys in Uganda's Zika forest in 1947 and has caused several outbreaks across the world in recent decades.

No vaccines or anti-viral drugs are available as prevention or cure.

Symptoms include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis and muscle and joint pain, but fatalities are rare.

Meanwhile, Kerala logged 7,798 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 100 deaths on Monday, taking the total infection count to 30,73,134 and the toll to 14,686. Thrissur reported the highest number of cases--1,092, followed by Kozhikode with 780 and Kollam 774.

"Out of those found infected on Monday, 32 reached the state from outside while 7,202 contracted the disease from their contacts. The sources of infection of 530 are yet to be traced. Thirty four health workers are also among those infected," health minister Veena George said in a release. She said 85,307 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 2,45,09,870.

The test positivity rate in the state stood at 9.14 per cent. The minister also said that the government would begin a campaign to vaccinate all pregnant women in the state.

"Through a campaign named 'mathrukavacham', Asha workers will register details of all pregnant women at the ward level. Thus the health workers will ensure that all pregnant women are vaccinated," she said. Separate vaccination camps would be held for them in order to avoid contact with the public, the minister said.

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