Coronavirus: Man flees isolation ward in Kerala, brought back

PTI Pathnamthitta (Kerala) | Updated on March 10, 2020

A man under observation for suspected coronavirus infection in the isolation ward of the district hospital here fled, but was tracked and brought back within hours.

The man was among those who had interacted with the three-member family who returned from Italy and have tested positive for the virus.

Pathanamthitta District Collector P. B. Nooh said one person, who was under observation at the general hospital here, had escaped but was later tracked and brought back.

“If even a single person under observation goes out, it is a threat. This is a public hazard”.

The health authorities will have to identify and isolate people who came in contact with the person after he left the hospital.

“This is the time to behave in a very socially responsible manner,” the Collector said.

Action against those flouting directions

With six positive cases reported, the state government has warned that stringent action would be taken against those flouting the directions of the health department.

Health Minister K K Shailaja has warned that those coming from COVID19 affected nations should report to the authorities on arrival in the state, failing which a case would be registered against them under the Public Health Act.

A three-member family, which had come from Italy recently and had tested positive along with two of their relatives had not reported their arrival to the authorities, health officials said.

At least 733 people who had come in contact with them have been tracked, the Collector said, and have been placed under observation.

While 18 have been admitted to isolation wards in hospital, the remaining are under home surveillance.

A two-year-old child is among those under observation at the isolation ward, health department sources said.

The tracking exercise would continue on Wednesday also.

Meanwhile, an awareness class was held for migrant workers at Pathanamthitta district this morning. However, no directions have been issued to workers from other states to leave the state.

“We are planning to give extra care to migrant workers with labour the officer visiting their colonies, as part of the awareness drive and speaking to them in a language they understand,” he said.

A three-year-old boy, who arrived with his parents in Kochi from Italy, tested positive on Monday, a day after three people, also with travel history from the European nation, were declared positive for the virus along with two of their relatives.

The Health Minister has said the surveillance system would be strengthened with the support of ASHA workers, civic authorities and ward members and resident associations.

Currently, 1,116 people are under surveillance in the state for the coronavirus, 967 in home quarantine and 149 in isolation wards of hospitals.

Two 90-year-old relatives of the Pathnamthitta family, who tested positive, have been admitted to Kottayam Medical College Hospital and their samples have been sent for testing, she said.

“If they test positive for the virus, it would be highly risky”, she had said.

Published on March 10, 2020

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