24/01/2020 10:20 AM IST | Updated 24/01/2020 10:45 AM IST

Kerala Nurse In Saudi Arabia Has MERS, Not Coronavirus From China: Consulate

The nurse tested positive for coronavirus, but was not infected with Wuhan strain, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah said.

Chung Sung-Jun via Getty Images
Disinfection workers wearing protective gears spray anti-septic solution in an train terminal amid rising public concerns over the spread of China's Wuhan Coronavirus at SRT train station on January 24, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. 

The Indian nurse working in Saudi Arabia who tested positive for coronavirus has a different strain from the one that has claimed 25 lives in China, the Indian Consulate in Jeddah said on Thursday.

The Indian Consulate in Jeddah clarified that the nurse found positive for coronavirus was suffering for MERS-CoV.

Reports say the nurse, who hails from Kerala, is likely to have contracted the virus while taking care of her Filipino colleague suffering from the same.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday that the nurse was is recovering well and a hundred colleagues who had been quarantined tested negative for the virus.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, while the 2019 Wuhan coronavirus is a novel one, meaning a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before.

The coronavirus strain that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province has so far infected over 830 people and left 25 others dead.

Confirmed cases have been reported from several regions including Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as in the US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to External Affairs minister S Jaishankar to take urgent steps in ensuring expert treatment and protection to those affected from the virus in Saudi.

Media reports claimed the affected nurse was from Ettumannur in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

(With PTI inputs)