A 44-year-old man who had arrived at the Walayar check post on May 9 has tested positive for coronavirus.

Congress leaders protesting at Walayar check post
Coronavirus Politics Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 13:29

Five Congress leaders from Kerala who went to the Walayar check-post on May 9 will be asked to go into quarantine by the state government.

Members of Parliament TN Prathapan (Thrissur), Ramya Haridas (Alathur), VK Sreekandan (Palakkad) and MLAs Shafi Parambil (Palakkad) and Anil Akkara (Wadakkanchery) are the prominent opposition leaders who will be asked to go into quarantine. A Palakkad district health official, however, told TNM that they are under low risk. 

They were instructed to quarantine themselves as they were in the vicinity of a 44-year-old COVID-19 positive patient who had arrived at the Walayar check post on May 9. The patient, a Malappuram native who worked in Chennai, had arrived with a group of nine members at the Walayar check-post. All the nine members had travelled to Walayar without an entry pass. On the same day, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) had met people stranded near the check-post, alleging Kerala government’s apathy towards workers in traditional sectors and Malayalis stranded overseas.

While MP Sreekantan had reached the check post in the morning itself, the other four leaders reached in the evening. They stayed back for hours and returned together post 10 pm.

The 44-year-old patient and fellow traveller was taken to the Palakkad district hospital directly from the check post, as they suffered from bouts of vomiting, headache and general discomfort. 

Shafi Parambil and Ramya at the check-post.

Palakkad MLA Shafi Parambil told TNM that he has not received an official intimation yet. "I learnt about the quarantine through channels. When news channels started calling me, asking if I received the official order, I called the District Medical Officer, who said a medical board will convene to decide that soon,” he told TNM.

It is not just Congress leaders, but even journalists and police personnel may be asked to be in home quarantine. According to a district health official, they are yet to make a complete list of all the people who were present at the check post, however they already have more than 150 names. This number is expected to increase as many people were present at the check post on the same day.

Speaking to a Malayalam news portal, MP VK Sreekandan also said that the leaders were yet to receive official instructions to quarantine from the government, and that it remains to be seen if there is a political motive behind this. “Till now the government had only been asking primary contacts of a positive case to go into quarantine,” he said. 

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