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Five new COVID-19 cases in Kerala, put in isolation wards

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 08, 2020 Published on March 08, 2020

All members of a family travelling from Italy test positive

The Kerala government has put out a notice requesting all passengers landing in Kochi on Qatar Airways Flight No QR 126 Venice-Doha on February 28 and on Flight No QR 514 Doha-Kochi, to report on 0471-2552056 or toll free number 1056 or present themselves to the nearest hospital.

This follows Saturday’s development in which three passengers from Italy and two of their family members , belonging to Pathanamthitta district, having tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The State government has since declared an enhanced public health alert in the state.

Put in isolation wards

The development seems to have shocked the administration, which had begun to breathe free after the country's first three infected people identified in the state had been discharged home from isolation wards in hospitals and the number of people being kept in home quarantine had started to ebb.

All five newly identified carriers have been put in isolation wards, Health Minister KK Shailaja said here. Three persons, including parents and son, and their two kin, are among those quarantined in this manner.

The Minister said that the family members were irresponsible in their behaviour and had even gone so far as to hide the fact that they had travelled from Italy, which has reported the maximum number of deaths from the virus infection after China, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Will not be tolerated

These persons were removed to hospital against their wishes. Subsequently, test results had proved that they were infected. This has taken the number of infections in the country to 39, the Minister said. Irresponsible behaviour of inbound travellers was unacceptable, especially when the state had declared a general public health alert after the first three reported infections. Since the travellers from Italy had landed at the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, the vigil has been tightened in the Ernakulam district.

Refusal of passengers from incoming travellers from affected destinations to report themselves in, would have to be considered a wilful violation of law and dealt with accordingly.

The State government has gone on record many times requesting those flying in from destinations such as Iran, Italy, South Korea and China to report themselves to the nearest hospitals voluntarily, the Minister said.

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Published on March 08, 2020
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