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Thiruvananthapuram, March 15, 2020
The state-owned plush resort Tea County at Munnar in Idukki district on Sunday was ordered to be closed down by district authorities after a British tourist who stayed there turned coronavirus positive.
He is part of a group of 19 people who arrived from Italy early this month and was there at the resort from March 7. With this the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the state touched 20.
The decision to close down the resort was taken soon after the State Electricity Minister M. M. Mani, who hails from the district, held a high-level meeting.
Things went haywire when a group of foreign tourists including the coronavirus-positive British national was stopped from flying to Dubai at Cochin airport on Sunday.
Following this, the flight was kept at the runway and after the health authorities conducted a complete health check up of the other passengers. It left for Dubai at 12.50 p.m., but the entire 19-member foreign tour party was off-loaded.
"The British national whose test results came last night was positive. Soon after it when the health authorities arrived to take the British national to the hospital, they found out, he along with the others had left. They were later traced to the Cochin airport," said State Health Minister K. K. Shailaja.
The British national who turned positive and his wife are now lodged at the state-owned Medical College Hospital at Kochi, while the others in the group are put up in isolation at a different place.
Meanwhile, the staff at the resort that has been now closed expressed their displeasure that they were not advised properly. Following the closure of the resort, all of them have been kept under medical observation.
The authorities are mulling to take legal action against the British national for violating the Public Health Act and also against the travel agent who coordinated the tour programme as it was he who is alleged to have taken the tourists to the airport and also the manager of the resort.