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Covid-19: Kerala minister V Sunil Kumar goes into self-quarantine

Our Bureau | Updated on June 22, 2020

Single-day high of 133 new cases on Sunday; 93 recover

Kerala’s Minister for Agriculture V Sunil Kumar and his personal assistant have gone into voluntary quarantine today (Monday) after a health worker attending their meeting tested positive to the Covid-19 virus the previous day, which also saw a new single-day high of 133 new infections in the state.

Significantly, recoveries have matched/breached the new cases during the past week with 93 against 133 on Sunday, 57 against 127 on Saturday, 96 against 118 on Friday, 89 against 97 on Thursday, 90 against 75 on Wednesday, 60 against 79 on Tuesday, 73 against 82 on Monday, and 56 against 54 on Sunday last.

No community transmission yet

As many as 80 of the 133 new cases reported on Sunday had arrived from abroad (Kuwait-35; Saudi Arabia-18; the UAE-13; Bahrain-5; Oman-5; Qatar-2; Egypt and Djibouti-1 each) and 43 from other States (Tamil Nadu-17; Maharashtra-16; Delhi-3; Gujarat-2; West Bengal-2; Uttar Pradesh-2 and Haryana-1).

Infections through local transmission have been contained to single digits in most cases, and this could go to rule out any sign of community transmission in the state, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. But he was not in a position to rule out the possibility just yet, he told reporters here.

So far, 1,659 patients have been cured of the Covid-19 virus, and on Sunday, 1,490 were under treatment. In all, close to 1.44 lakh people are under surveillance in various districts. Of these, 1.41 lakh are in home or institutional quarantine, and 2,050 are isolated in hospitals. Sunday saw 325 new admissions.

New guidelines for expats

During the 24 hours ending Sunday noon, 5,239 samples were tested, taking the total till date to 1,37,475, the Chief Minister said. As many as 38,146 samples were collected from priority groups such as health workers and guest workers as part of sentinel surveillance, taking the overall tally to 1,83,201.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has issued a fresh set of guidelines for expatriates arriving in the State in increased numbers as part of the Vande Bharat Mission and those crossing the inter-state border from other states. These are in line with updated Central instructions and in continuation of the earlier instructions issued by the state.

As soon as the expatriates register at the Covid-19 counter, the respective civic body, the police, Covid-19 care nodal officer and the district collector are alerted. The police ensures that the returnee reaches his/her home or the right quarantine centre. The local administration will check whether the facilities at the place of stay match those the returnee had revealed earlier.

Alert to neighbourhood must

It is the expatriate’s responsibility to alert his/her neighbours about the arrival and make them aware of the rules related to quarantine. He/she has to also know whether the neighbourhood has people in the vulnerable age, and in case there are, direct them on ways to take special care to avert chances of acquiring the disease.

Penal action under IPC and the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 will be taken for flouting the guidelines. The departments of revenue, police and local self-government will be in charge of ensuring all facilities for those under quarantine at the paid institutions of the government.

Published on June 22, 2020

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