It is the non-cooperative and irresponsible approach of the three persons with travel history to Italy which resulted in five more Covid-19 cases in Kerala. All the five cases are from Pathanamthitta district.
Despite repeated instructions being given by the health authorities to the public who visit virus-hit countries, the three persons, a couple in their 50s and their son, hid their travel history to Italy.
They travelled in the Venice-Doha Qatar airlines QR 126 flight and from Doha they took another Qatar Airlines flight QR514 to reach Kochi. They reached Doha on February 29 and landed in Kochi on March 1 morning. But they evaded the health desk at the airport.
All five have been admitted to the Pathnamathitta general hospital and are under observation. Their condition is stable. “The authorities came to know about their travel history only when two of their family members having fever and other symptoms visited the hospital. Though the medical practitioners asked the three persons to shift to the hospital, they ignored the direction saying they had no health issues. Later, their swab samples were taken forcefully and sent to National Institute of Virology which tested positive for the virus by Saturday night,” said health minister K. K Shylaja.
The minister made it clear that the practice of hiding travel information will be considered a crime. “Those who come from countries like Iran, Italy, South Korea and China should report to the health department immediately. Contact tracing of the Italy returned family has already started which will be completed. The co-passengers in the two flights in which the patients travelled, who are in Kerala now, should immediately report to the nearest health centres or contact the helpline number,” she said.
Meanwhile, the health department has stepped up surveillance and alert has been issued in Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam districts. Since the family landed at Kochi airport, Ernakulam district collector S Suhas convened an emergency meeting at the airport on Sunday.
Though three medical students from Wuhan University were infected with virus in the state, local transmission could be prevented through timely detection and effective intervention. The three students have been cured and their home quarantine period also is over....