At 17th rank, India among most prone to importing nCoV: Study
New Delhi, Feb 9
India ranks 17th among the list of countries most likely to import cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a global import risk assessment model has found.
Researchers from the Humboldt University and Robert Koch Institute in Berlin have developed the model that analyses air transportation pattern to calculate the relative risk for the 30 most vulnerable countries (excluding China) of importing cases of the viral disease.
Outside China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea are the most likely to import the infections, the model shows.
In India, the Delhi airport is the most likely to get infected people, followed by Mumbai and Kolkata.
One of the scientists on the team that developed the model, however, said that the system cannot be used to make quantitative predictions.
“This is not so much a tool for making quantitative predictions. Public health officials and policy makers have to develop an intuition because this virus is something unknown. Models can help you develop an intuition,” Humboldt physicist Dirk Brockmann told Science Magazine. Brockmann led the modelling team.
So far, laboratories of the Indian Council of Medical Research have tested 1,486 samples. Of these, all but three tested negative.
The first three Indians who tested positive for 2019-nCoV have recovered, Health Ministry officials said on Saturday. The three will continue to be in isolation for 28 days, the officials said.
Meanwhile, 15 students from Kerala, who were stranded in Hubei in China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, reached Kochi on Friday night onboard an Air Asia flight. The students were screened at the airport and taken to the Kalamassery Medical College hospital in sterilised ambulances.
“They will be quarantined and tested just like any other persons travelling from China. They will be discharged if their tests come back negative,” said a senior Health Ministry official, on condition of anonymity.
The Government has screened 176,703 people aboard 1,636 flights from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand at 21 airports. Almost 8,000 people with history of travel to China are also being monitored at the community level.