95 confirmed cases as 28 more test positive

A public health emergency: Pinarayi

Kerala on Monday reported nearly double the number of COVID-19 cases that it reported yesterday, leading the State government to go in for a total lockdown of the State, to restrict the movement of people and to reduce virus transmissibility.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, briefing the media, said the government was taking unprecedented measures as the State was up against a possible public health emergency, the consequences of which could be unpredictable.

The State is recording confirmed COVID-19 cases in double digits for the past three days, with 15 cases reported on Sunday.

On Monday, 28 new positive cases of COVID-19 surfaced in the State, taking the total number of cases reported in Kerala since January to 95. Mr. Vijayan said of the 28 new cases, 25 were people who had returned from Dubai. Nineteen of the cases were in Kasaragod, five in Kannur, two in Ernakulam, and one each in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur. Unconfirmed reports late in the night said two more had tested positive in Kozhikode.

5,025 under surveillance

On Monday, 5,025 persons more were added to the surveillance network, taking the total number under surveillance to 64,320. Of these, 383 were in isolation in hospitals and the rest on home quarantine.

The number of cases has shown a sudden spike in the past three days, but the authorities were able to link each one of these cases to its source.

Though there has been much hue and cry that the State could go into the next stage of the epidemic, when one should expect community transmission (cases surfacing in the community with no apparent link to any particular source), so far there has been no evidence to either support or discard the theory of community transmission.

With every new case being an imported case, many public health experts expect that the case numbers will soon stabilise, once the international flights are grounded and no more persons are coming from abroad.

Follow quarantine

The Chief Minister said those on home quarantine would not be allowed to violate the quarantine norms and move about freely. The government would seek the help of mobile service providers to track the persons playing truant and the community would be asked to keep an eye on these persons. The government would supply food to those families on home quarantine, who required food.

In every district, separate COVID-19 hospitals would be set up by the Health Department with the assistance of district administration.

Mr. Vijayan said as the domestic flights were also being grounded, anyone now coming into the State would have to go into the separate isolation facilities identified by the Health Department and district administration. People coming to Kerala from other States would also be put on a 14-day quarantine.

He said all those who had come back from abroad or after attending Umra should necessarily inform the district administration.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:32:41 PM |

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