Health and Science

India confirms its first coronavirus case

Key Points
  • Indian health officials said the virus had been found in a patient in Kerala.
  • The Philippines also confirmed its first case Thursday.
  • China's National Health Commission said the coronavirus has taken the lives of 170 people in China.

India has confirmed that at least one case of coronavirus has reached the country.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the country's first case was in a patient in Kerala, a southwestern coastal state.

The ministry said in a statement that the patient is a student at Wuhan University in China and has been isolated in a hospital.

The case was confirmed to the government by the National Institute of Virology, and that the person is "stable and being closely monitored."

See: Coronavirus live updates

Delhi has a plane ready to fly to Wuhan and pick up Indian nationals with no evidence of sickness but is awaiting permission from Chinese authorities. A British Airways flight to bring 200 U.K. nationals back to Britain was due to take off Thursday but also had not received permission.

Meanwhile, the Philippines also confirmed its first case Thursday. Health Secretary Francisco Duque told reporters the patient is a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan who arrived in Manila on Jan. 21. She was admitted to a hospital four days later with a mild cough but was no longer displaying symptoms.

According to the latest update by China's National Health Commission, the coronavirus in China has taken the lives of 170 people and infected more than 7,700.

The World Health Organization will again meet Thursday to decide if the outbreak should be considered a global health emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that cases in Germany, Vietnam and Japan had revealed human-to-human transmission and that progress of the virus in some countries was worrying.

Meanwhile, the Chinese central province of Hubei, the origin of the outbreak and where almost all deaths have occurred, remains in a state of lockdown.

Global stocks fell Thursday as the death toll from the coronavirus rose. Stocks in Asia slipped heavily with China's main index in Shanghai closing 2.75% lower. The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 1% in early afternoon London time, and U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower opening.

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