Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala govt warns against hiding travel history after Italy-returned family infects eight; confirmed cases rise to 14

The Kerala govt on Tuesday warned people against hiding information about their travel history to coronavirus-affected countries or information that may lead to spreading the COVID-19 disease

FP Staff March 11, 2020 18:48:12 IST
Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala govt warns against hiding travel history after Italy-returned family infects eight; confirmed cases rise to 14
  • Kerala state health minister KK Shailaja warned people against hiding their travel history to coronavirus-infected countries, saying it's a crime under Public Health Act

  • Shailaja's remark has come after an Italy-returned family, who are accused of hiding information about their travel history to Italy at the Kochi airport, ended up spreading the coronavirus to eight of their close relatives and friends

  • Kerala has been hit by a second round of COVID-19 with 14 new confirmed cases after the country's first three positive cases in the state were successfully cured and discharged from hospitals last month

The Kerala government on Wednesday warned people against hiding information about their travel history to coronavirus -affected countries or information that may lead to spreading the COVID-19 disease.

"According to the Public Health Act, people who are supporting or hiding anything that leads to spreading of the disease is a crime. (Failure to reveal) travel history of coming back from affected areas and countries will be considered a crime," Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said on Tuesday, according to ANI.

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Kerala is seeing a second wave of coronavirus infections. PTI

Speaking to reporters after a review meeting of the state health department, Shailaja said, "If they become positive, they will spread the disease. So we are asking them to reveal their identity and contact the health department. The chief minister has announced that hiding travel history is a crime and action will be taken (against those who violate the rule)."

The minister's remark comes as Kerala has been hit by a second round of coronavirus cases after the country's first three positive cases in the state were successfully cured last month. Kerala has so far confirmed 14 cases of coronavirus infections.

Among the recent cases include three members from a family hailing from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district, who hid information about their travel history to coronavirus -affected Italy while checking out at Kochi airport.

According to PTI, the family has spread the COVID-19 disease to eight of their close relatives and family members, including their elderly parents.

The elderly parents are undergoing treatment at Medical College Hospital in Kottayam, and fall in the high-risk category, Shailaja said, adding that efforts are underway to restore them to health.

Shailaja, however, assured that there was no cause for alarm about other COVID-19 patients admitted at various other hospitals in the state.

The minister also informed that the Italy-returned trio has been admitted to a hospital in Ernakulam and are undergoing treatment. Relatives who went to receive them at the airport, besides those who visited them at the hospital, have also been quarantined.

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It is assessed that more people may have been infected with the coronavirus after coming into contact with the Italy-returned family last month, Shailaja said in a press statement.

The government and its agencies have managed to identify the maximum number of people who came in contact with the trio and have placed all of them under observation. However, efforts are still underway to find out more people who may have come in contact with the family from Ranni.

Details about the co-passengers of the trio are being sought as well. The minister also urged those who may have come in contact with the trio to contact the health department.

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The parents of a three-year-old child in Ernakulam district also tested positive for coronavirus on Monday. Efforts are underway to trace those who might have come in contact with this family as well.

So far as many as 1,495 persons have been placed under observation in different parts of the state. While 1,236 are under observation in their respective homes, 259 are in hospitals, Shailaja said.

Samples of 980 suspected cases have been sent to National Institute Virology, Pune for tests. The results of 815 have been found to be negative, the minister added.

Testing facilities have been set up at medical colleges in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Nine tests have been held at Kozhikode Medical College and the facility will start at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College on Wednesday, Shailaja said.

Apart from this, the government has sought permission to test samples at Thrissur Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Bio-technology Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.

On Tuesday, Chief Minsiter Pinarayi Vijayan imposed severe restrictions on public events to prevent the spread of the virus, shutting schools and colleges up to Class 7 and ordering closure of cinema halls in the state till 31 March 31.

Temple and church festivals, which witnesses mass gatherings should be avoided, but rituals can be held in a low key manner, Vijayan had said on Tuesday after chairing a special cabinet meeting in the wake of fresh positive cases being reported in the state.

Classes from I to VII standards of all schools — state, CBSE and ICSE will remain shut till March end and examinations which have begun will be put on hold. Examinations for Tenth standard, Plus Two and vocational higher secondary, which began on Tuesday will however, continue.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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