Indian nurse does not have China coronavirus: Saudi

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi statement debunks Indian media reports.

The Saudi Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) has confirmed two cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Abha City, ruling out any presence of the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus in the Kingdom.

The SaudiCDC took to Twitter to announce, "No cases of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in #Saudi_Arabia so far." Instead, two female healthcare workers from Abha City, ages 38 and 27 respectively, have been diagnosed with MERS, announced the CDC.

The statement debunks Indian media reports that a nurse working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia is the first Indian to be infected by the deadly Coronavirus that originated in China and has killed 17 so far.

V Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for External Affairs, said on Twitter 100 Indian nurses, mostly from Kerala have been tested and none except one nurse was found infected by Coronavirus.

The minister said the Indian nurses had been quarantined due to the Coronavirus threat. "Affected nurse is being treated at Aseer National Hospital and is recovering well," he tweeted. However, a report on the Saudi Ministry of Health website clearly states both are active cases of the MERS- Cov in Abha City in Saudi's Aseer Region.

In his tweets, the Indian Minister may have referred to MERS, which is also a coronavirus, however, Saudi officials have confirmed the cases are not the Novel Coronavirus strain that has the world on the edge.

According to Dr Sreekumar Sreedharan, Specialist Internal Medicine, Aster Union Medical Centre, Karama, there are seven known strains of human coronaviruses.

They are:

1. Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)

2. Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)

3. SARS-CoV

4. Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63, New Haven coronavirus)

5. Human coronavirus HKU1

6. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus 2012 and HCoV-EMC.

7. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) - (Wuhan Corona virus)

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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