India has officially confirmed that at least one case of the coronavirus has reached the country.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed the country’s first case in Kerala, a southwestern coastal state.
The government body said in a statement that the patient is a student at Wuhan University in China and has been isolated in a hospital.
The case was confirmed to the government by the National Institute of Virology — India’s center for testing samples of the suspected virus. The statement added that the person is “stable and being closely monitored.”
Delhi has a plane ready to fly to Wuhan and pick up Indian nationals with no evidence of sickness, but is still waiting on permission from Chinese authorities. A British Airways flight to bring 200 U.K. nationals back to Britain was due to take off Thursday but has also not yet received permission.
Meanwhile, the Philippines also confirmed its first case Thursday. Health Secretary Francisco Duque told reporters that the patient is a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan who arrived in Manila on Jan. 21. She was admitted to a hospital four days later with a mild cough but is currently not displaying any symptoms.
According to the latest update by China’s National Health Commission, the coronavirus has taken the lives of 170 people and infected more than 7,700 in China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) will meet Thursday to decide if the outbreak should be considered a global health emergency.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that cases in Germany, Vietnam and Japan had revealed human-to-human transmission and that progress of the virus in some countries was worrying.
Meanwhile, the Chinese central province of Hubei, the genesis of the outbreak and where almost all deaths have occurred, remains in a state of lockdown.
Global stocks fell Thursday as the death toll from the coronavirus rose. Stocks in Asia slipped heavily with China’s main index in Shanghai closing 2.75% lower. By 9:45 a.m. London time, the pan-European Stoxx 600 had dropped more than 0.5%.