Subadh Kumar Nayak

Phulbani: Sparking Novel Coronavirus scare in Odisha, a medical student of Phulbani on Friday complained of suffering from cold and cough after returning home from China on January 11 keeping authorities on toes.

Suspecting infection, the medical student who pursues MBBS in China wrote a letter to Kandhamal Collector and the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) to apprise them about his health condition and also went to Phulbani hospital for a health check-up today.

“I came to the hospital for a health check-up as I have been suffering from cold and cough after I returned home recently from China where there is outbreak of Coronavirus,” the student said.

“Though the outbreak of the virus in China was reported after my return on January 11, I have a fear that I might have also been infected by Coronavirus,” he added.

Speaking about the student’s health condition, Medicine specialist of Phulbani hospital, Bidyadhar Panda, said, “He was living near Wuhan province in China which has been massively infected by the Coronavirus. The symptoms exhibited by the student seem more like the viral infection.”

“We have referred him to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack for further medical examination and are hopeful that we will get detail reports within three-four days,” he added.

Asked about the incident, Kandhamal CDMO said despite similar symptoms, there has been no confirmation whether the student has been infected with the virus.

"He informed that he developed cold and cough after coming to his home town but since there are chances of virus in incubation stage, so we have referred him to SCB. His samples are likely to be sent to Pune-based virology lab where it would take two -three days for inspection and then only we can confirm whether he really has any infection," the CDMO said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the death toll in China due to Coronavirus rose to over 200, with more than 10,000 cases confirmed in almost 20 countries following which the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak as a global health emergency.