The young medical student from Kerala, who was the first COVID-19 patient in India last year at the outset of the pandemic, has tested positive for the coronavirus once again.
The 20-year-old, who hails from Thrissur district, got her test results on 13 July, Tuesday. She had undergone an RT-PCR test as she was going to Delhi. She is presently under home quarantine.
Thrissur District Medical Officer (DMO), KJ Reena, told the media that the student's condition is stable and there are no major symptoms.
"She is reinfected with COVID-19. Her RT-PCR is positive, antigen is negative. She is asymptomatic."DR KJ Reena, DMO, Thrissur
The 20-year-old woman hadn’t taken her COVID-19 vaccine yet. She was also planning to go back to China to continue her studies which is why she took the RT-PCR test.
It was on 23 January 2020 that the third-year medical student flew back to Kerala from Wuhan, China, which was the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Wuhan went into complete lockdown, she was among a group of medical students who returned to Kerala.
A week after she arrived, she tested positive for the coronavirus on 30 January 2020 - the first case in India.
Following this, two other students who came back from Wuhan also tested positive. But the early tracking and quarantine mechanisms which were in place in the state prevented the further spread of the virus from the three students.
When the student returned to India last year and was found to have COVID-19, she initially presented with a dry cough and sore throat. Though she had apparently not had direct contact with a coronavirus positive person, she is suspected to have been infected while travelling from Wuhan to Kunming by train.
She came to the General Hospital in Thrissur on 27 January 2020, and her samples were sent for testing to National Institute of Virology, Pune. She underwent further treatment at Government Medical College, Thrissur. She tested negative for the virus after 19 days.
(This article was first published in The News Minute and republished here with permission.)