New Delhi: Two persons who returned to Mumbai from China became the newest suspects of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus that has killed over 25 and infected more than 850 people in China, officials said on Friday.

As soon as the symptoms were identified, the two individuals were shifted to separate isolation wards in Kasturba hospital in Chinchpokali by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“The isolation ward has been created for diagnosis and treatment of persons suspected to have the coronavirus infection,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the BMC.

The two persons who returned from China were taken under observation after symptoms of mild coughing and cold-related symptoms, while further details on the same are awaited.

“All private doctors in the city have been asked to alert us (the BMC) if they observe symptoms of the coronavirus in anyone who has returned from China,” Keskar said.

Strict guidelines have been issued all international airports in major cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai to send travellers returning from China to the isolation ward if they show any symptoms of the coronavirus.

This is in continuation to the travel advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry regarding the threat of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province of China, that is now under lockdown due to the outbreak.

Meanwhile, taking into account the rapid spread of novel Coronavirus, Indian Embassy in Beijing cancelled the Republic Day celebration of January 26 and issued an advisory for those travelling from China to India, especially those from Wuhan, to closely monitor their health.

Yesterday, a nurse from Kerala, working at Al-Hayat hospital in Saudi Arabia, became the first Indian to have been tested positive with the deadly virus.

The novel coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes lung problems, ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. Common symptoms include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.

The virus that originated in Wuhan in December, has now spread to the United States, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.