No plan to withdraw COVID-19 alert: Minister

State to continue surveillance

Published - February 29, 2020 01:10 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Although the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat has, to an extent, diminished in the State, the Health Department has no plans to withdraw the alert for now, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said on Friday.

“At the moment, we don't have an alarming situation. But we have decided to continue surveillance as more countries, Iran for instance, have reported outbreaks. There have also been deaths. We cannot say for sure whether people from these countries would not arrive in Kerala. We are also keeping tabs on the WHO stand,” the Minister said.

On Friday, a passenger from Malaysia who arrived at the Cochin airport had displayed symptoms, including cough and sore throat.

The passenger has been admitted to Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam. Test results of samples sent to the National Institute of Virology are awaited, the Minister said.

Close watch at airports

Medical teams continue to keep a close watch at airports, she added.

With new cases being reported in Italy and Iran, people returning from these countries would be examined along with those arriving from China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Around 3,500 people have been quarantined in Kerala after the State pressed the alarm button and stepped up vigil against COVID-19. By Friday, however, the number reduced to 136. Of this, 128 are on home quarantine while eight people are hospitalised.

On Friday, 34 more people were released from quarantine, a Health Department bulletin said.

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