Covid-19 cases up at six in Kerala, high alert in two districts
File photo of people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus outside a hospital in Thrissur, Kerala. IANS

Covid-19 cases up at six in Kerala, high alert in two districts

Thiruvananthapuram, March 9, 2020

With the registration of six positive coronavirus cases in two days in Kerala, authorities here on Monday decided to put in place and follow strict protocols.

During the day, a three-year-old girl, who arrived at the Kochi airport with her parents from Italy on March 7, tested positive. Her parent's test reports are awaited. The three have been kept in isolation at the Kalamassery Medical College, Kochi.

The other five positive patients are at the Pathanamthitta district hospital. After the news broke out, many in-patients are demanding to be discharged.

Authorities are awaiting more test reports, including of those who came in contact with the three from a family, which arrived from Italy last month, and their two relatives (all positive) at Pathanamthitta.

Stating that condition of all coronavirus positive people is under control, Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja warned of action against those who failed to abide by health advisories. "Everyone should abide by the rules. Violators will face strong action," said Shailaja.

At Pathanamthitta, especially in places, like Ranni, the streets wore a deserted look and the shops that the five positive people visited were closed.

All educational institutions in the district have been shut for three days. It has also been advised that marriages be postponed as part of avoiding gatherings.

The Pathanamthitta district court has been closed for regular cases. Only urgent cases are being taken up for the last five days.

Pathanamthitta District Collector P. B. Nooh has identified two other hospitals and set up special isolation rooms.

While 10 people with coronavirus symptoms are likely to be shifted to a hospital at Ernakulam, about 13 more might be hospitalised.

The neighbouring Kottayam district is also on alert as the family that went to the Kochi airport to receive the three from Italy has been quarantined in isolation.

Denying any shortage of essential items needed by health care officials, Ernakulam district collector S. Suhas said, "Every aspect has been taken care of. There needn't be any worry. It has been decided to screen all passengers arriving from the USA, Spain and France," Suhas said.

The authorities have decided to place people arriving at the Kochi airport from Italy under medical observation

State Police chief Loknath Behra has directed a crackdown on misuse of social media in connection with coronavirus. Even those who forward false messages would be dealt with.

As the Class X examination is set to start with around 4.5 lakh students set to take the examination, the authorities in Pathanamthitta have decided to put students with cold and flu symptoms in separate rooms.

Meanwhile, reports of shortage of masks and medical shops fleecing customers by charging Rs 85 for one mask are reaching the state capital.

IANS

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