The six new patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were in close contact with the family of three who came from Italy on February 29.

12 coronavirus cases in Kerala grandparents of family from Italy test positive
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 14:12

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kerala increased to 12, confirmed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference. 

The six new patients who tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday were in close contact with the family of three — 55-year-old man, his 53-year-old wife and their 26-year-old son — who came from Italy to Kochi via Doha on February 29. The NRI family that reisdes in Italy had come to Kerala on a 19-day holiday. Already, two of their neighbours who are also relatives had tested positive. On Tuesday, another six people, including their grandparents, who were all in contact with the family have tested positive.

Other than these cases, all from Pathanamthitta district, a three-year-old child, who returned with its parents from Italy to Kochi, also tested positive on Monday.  

Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the new cases include the aged parents (both above 85 years) of the family of three who had come from Italy to Pathanamthitta on February 29 and failed to inform the authorities of their travel history. The couple's daughter and her husband, who went to pick up the family from the airport, have been tested positive. The other two patients had met the family in Ranni. Four of the new cases are admitted in Kottayam while two others are reportedly in Kozhencherry.

According to Pathanamthitta Collector PB Nooh, two new patients who have been tested positive for coronavirus had primary contact with the family of three who returned from Italy and tested positive for the disease on Sunday. Nooh said, “The two new patients were among the 21 individuals who were at the isolation ward at a hospital in Kozhencherry in the district.” 

As many as 1,116 people are under observation in the state. Of these, 967 people are at home quarantine and the others are at various hospitals across the state. Samples of 807 suspected cases have been sent to be tested for coronavirus, out of which 717 have come back negative. Results of the remaining cases are awaited.

“This is a season of festivals and weddings. Weddings cannot be avoided but they could be conducted in simple ways with fewer people. It is also advisable to not go for the Sabarimala pilgrimage in this situation, let the rituals continue, however. The government’s public programmes for the month have been cancelled,” the CM said.

Pinarayi Vijayan also cautioned against people hiding where they came from on reaching the state, reiterating Minister KK Shailaja’s statement that such actions would be considered a crime.

The CM also advised the public to avoid going to cinema theatres and theatre arts until March 31, where a large number of people may come together.

It is on Sunday morning that it came to light that three from a family who had come to the state from Italy, a coronavirus-infected country, had failed to inform the authorities about where they came from and gone on to interact with a number of others. Two of their relatives who are also their neighbours developed symptoms of the virus and approached a hospital, after which it was revealed that the family of three had just come from Italy. 

Also read: 

Man flees from coronavirus isolation ward in Pathanamthitta, traced within 6 hours

Now, even domestic passengers at Kochi airport to go through thermal screening

COVID-19 affected Kerala family says they didn’t conceal details, govt counters claim

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