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Thiruvananthapuram, February 3, 2020
With three confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the state and a few more likely to turn positive, the Kerala government has declared it a state calamity, state Health Minister K. K. Shailaja said on Monday night.
Shailaja's announcement came soon after a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, chaired by the Chief Secretary, decided to recommend this to the government.
"This is not meant to create a panic," she added.
"Today there are 2,239 people in the state under observation of which 2,155 are in their homes, while 84 are in hospitals. 140 samples have so far been sent for testing, of which 46 are negative and the results of the rest are awaited. It was today that the third case in the state was confirmed positive and it is from Kasargode," Shailaja added.
All the three cases which have tested positive were medical students -- one girl and two boys -- who were studying in China's Wuhan. The condition of all the three is stable and there are being closely observed in isolation at state-run hospitals.
"An alert has been issued that anyone who has returned from China has to get medical attention. There have been cases when such people have been skulking and this is in no way acceptable as the lives of all are precious. Moreover it is from Kerala that the maximum number of students go to Wuhan and hence we have to go forward very cautiously as the density of population here is high and hence, we have decided to set 28 days as the quarantine period," said Shailaja.
Special control rooms have been opened in all the 14 districts of the state.