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A thermal screening device checks passengers arriving in India from China in view of the coronavirus outbreak, at Delhi International airport. Image Credit: PTI

Patna: A 29-year-old medical student from India’s Bihar state has been admitted to a government hospital, after she showed symptoms of the coronavirus, shortly after returning from China where she was doing research.

The student, identified as Ekta Kumari, has been kept in the isolation ward of the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) under the observation of a team of health experts.

Reports said the student who was doing research at a Chinese university on neuroscience had flown to Kolkata on January 22 and reached home the next day.

However, soon after reaching home she fell sick and was admitted to a local government hospital in Chapra, her home town.

Doctors shifted her to the PMCH after noticing symptoms of coronavirus.

Blood samples sent for testing

“We have collected her blood samples and they are being sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for test. Her medical treatment will start once we get the test report but she is under the observation of doctors,” PMCH superintendent Dr Bimal Karak told the media on Monday.

He said the hospital was very much on alert and ready for any situation.

The superintendent said the patient had been kept in the isolation ward of the hospital and was being administered normal saline and analgesic for pain.

'Forcibly admitted'

The student, however, claimed she is fine and the doctors had forcibly admitted her to the isolation ward in Patna just because she came from China.

“Nothing has happened to me, I am fine. I was released by the airport authorities. My body temperature is around 98 F (36C-36.6C) and I don’t have a cough. Will you declare someone with body temperature of 97-98 F (36C-36.6C) infected with coronavirus?” she asked journalists at the PMCH premises on Monday.

The health department, meanwhile, has sounded an alert in Bihar and is keeping a close watch on tourists coming from China and its neighbouring countries at the airports.

A large number of tourists from China and south-east Asian countries reach Bihar every year to visit places associated with Buddha.

Bodh Gaya, Patna, Vaishali, Rajgir and Nalanda fall in the Buddhist Circuit.

“The government is planning to start thermal screening at the state airports,” Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar has told the media adding the state government had appointed a surveillance officer as the nodal official under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme to monitor the suspected cases.