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Tracing the contacts of India's first COVID-19 patient

The fellow passengers on the flight, which brought the COVID positive medical student back home from mainland China, were also put under observation in various districts.

Published: 19th April 2020 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th April 2020 02:15 PM   |  A+A-

Dr Kavya Karunakaran

Express News Service

On January 30, Junior Administrative Medical Officer Kavya Karunakaran was assigned a crucial task by K J Reena, District Medical Officer, Thrissur — to trace the contacts of a student who had become the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 patient.

The 20-year-old medical student from Wuhan in China — the original epicentre of the pandemic — had flown back to India on January 24 after showing symptoms of the deadly virus. Kavya spoke to the student at length and managed to extract exhaustive information from her about the people she had come into contact with.

“Our team traced around 63 travel contacts. Most of them were fellow medical students. One of them later tested positive in Alappuzha,” Kavya said. The fellow passengers on the flight, which brought the COVID positive medical student back home from mainland China, were also put under observation in various districts.

Luckily, the student had only minimum social interaction while at home and the number of community contacts was limited to 18,” she said.

Kavya and her team also traced a large number of secondary contacts who were also put under observation. Kavya and her team ensured that all those who came in contact with the country’s first COVID-19 patient were tracked down to minimise the spread of the virus. 

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