Flight tragedy reveals its COVID impact

Exactly a week after the Air India flight tragedy, two dozen key Malappuram district officers who supervised the rescue and relief operations at Karipur have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

After District Police Chief U. Abdul Kareem tested positive on Thursday, the result of District Collector K. Gopalakrishnan was found to be positive on Friday.

District Medical Officer K. Sakeena confirmed that Sub Collector Anju K.S., Assistant Collector Vishnu Raj and 20 other officers too have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among them are a few deputy collectors and senior revenue officials.

The officers had interacted with several ministers and top officials in the wake of the Air India Express B-737 flight crash at Karipur. The list included Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, Ports Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran, Local Self-Government Minister A.C. Moideen, Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel, Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan, Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta, and Director General of Police Loknath Behra.

Dozens of people on the primary list of contacts have gone into self-quarantine.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Malappuram has risen in alarming proportions with the district reporting more than 200 cases every day in the last four days.

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