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Indian students in Wuhan told to avoid residencies

January 22, 2020 05:50 AM

courtesy HT JAN 22

Sutirtho Patranobis

spatranobis@htlive.com

Beijing : Indian students completing medical internships in Wuhan have been advised to stay away from the hospital residencies following the outbreak of the coronavirus, which is said to have originated in a seafood and animal market in the city.

Local authorities sent out the advisory after one person was diagnosed with the disease at the Zhongnan hospital of the Wuhan University medical college with which Indian and other international students are associated.

With nearly 200 cases diagnosed in the city, Wuhan is at the epicentre of the outbreak.

Chinese experts confirmed on Monday that this strain of the virus is highly contagious. At least 14 medical workers in Wuhan were infected while treating a single patient.

Speaking to HT on condition of anonymity, an Indian student from Wuhan said local authorities sent out an advisory as soon as the case was confirmed at Zhongnan hospital. Students were advised to keep to their hostels and take precautions.

Only a handful of Indian students remain in the city of around 11 million people.

Of the 600 to 700 Indian students in Wuhan, a majority has either gone home or abroad for the Chinese New Year vacation.

A large number of Indian students at the Wuhan University medical college, where around 500 Indians study, are from southern states.

There are students from Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh as well.

It’s not yet known whether any of the Indian students were infected before leaving Wuhan for India or any other destination.

The Indian student said the student community learnt about the outbreak earlier this month, but the situation turned serious only after the number diagnosed shot up sharply last week.

Soon, social media groups - especially the Indian community and student groups on WeChat - started going abuzz with the latest updates on the disease, its symptoms and precautions.

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