New Delhi: In the wake of the outbreak of the fatal coronavirus that has so far claimed 17 lives in China and affecting over 600 people, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday in a letter urged the Ministry of External Affairs to help Kerala nurses who are working in Saudi Arabia.

In the letter, the Kerala Chief Minister has also requested the Ministry of External Affairs to communicate with Saudi Arabia in this regard.

Earlier in the day, the MEA said that an advisory in this regard has already been issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and India’s consulates in China.

He also said that the Indian Mission in China has made efforts to protect Indians who are residing in the province in China.

As part of the precautionary measures, over 9,000 passengers from 43 flights were on Wednesday screened at different international airports in India.

As per updates, the Chinese health authorities have announced that 571 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 25 provincial-level regions in the country.

Apart from China, one positive case has also been confirmed in the regions of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, the United States, Japan and Korea. Three positive cases have also been reported in Thailand.