Covid-19: Self-quarantined Kerala minister tests negative

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 23, 2020

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Another single-day high of new cases triggers vigil

Kerala Minister for Agriculture VS Sunil Kumar, who had gone into self-quarantine at his official residence here from Monday has tested negative in a preliminary Covid-19 diagnostic test, but a medical board advised him to continue the quarantine for 14 days as part of abundant caution.

The quarantine was triggered after the minister was included in the primary contact list of a health worker who had attended one of his official meetings and had since tested positive for the virus. The swab samples of the minister had been sent for testing on Monday morning.

Another high

The minister was in charge of Covid-19 relief work in Ernakulam district, and he, along with the health worker testing positive, had attended the meeting at Thrissur on June 16. The district medical board in Thrissur had advised the minister and 18 others to go into quarantine thereafter.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Kerala recorded another single-day high of 138 new Covid-19 cases, though, keeping with the recent and welcome trend, as many as 88 undergoing treatment for the infection tested negative the same day, said Health and Social Justice Minister KK Shailaja.

Of the diagnosed 138, as many as 87 are returnees from affected destinations abroad (Kuwait-43; the UAE-14; Qatar-14; Saudi Arabia-9; Oman-4; Bahrain, Russia and Nigeria-one each) and 47 are from other States (Maharashtra-18; Tamil Nadu-12; Delhi-10; West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh-2 each; and Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab-one each).

Fresh scare, alert sounded

Only four people had been infected through primary contact, including a security guard at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. While such infections continue to be in the low single digits, the rising number of new infections has raised a fresh scare in the State.

This is basically because of the reporting of an increasing number of cases where the State Health Department has not been able to identify the source, the latest from an Ernakulam suburb. For the same reason, enhanced vigil has been declared in Thiruvananthapuram, the State capital.

Until now, 1,747 patients have recovered from the infection while 1,540 patients are under treatment in the State. A total of 1,47,351 people are currently under quarantine, of which 1,45,225 are under observation at their homes or institutional quarantine centres and 2,126 are isolated in hospitals. Monday saw 241 new admissions.

During the 24 hours ending noon on Monday, 4,734 samples were tested, taking the total number to 1,85,903 so far. As part of sentinel surveillance, 38,502 samples were also collected from high-risk groups and the results of 37,539 samples were negative. There are currently 112 hotspots in Kerala.

Published on June 23, 2020

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