On Wednesday, 24 new cases of COVID-19 has been reported in the state, taking the total number to 161.

Pinarayi Vijayan addresses media in front of many mikes
news Coronavirus Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 20:32

Reading out five dates in early May – 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 – Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan spoke of the days when the state had managed to keep the number of new COVID-19 cases to zero. On the morning of 8th, the total number of cases in the state was a mere 16. But on May 7, the first of the flights from foreign countries, resuming operations after one and half months of lockdown, landed in Kerala. New cases of those arriving from other countries and states piled up nearly every day after that. From 16 active cases, it’s risen to 161 total cases by Wednesday, May 20.

On Wednesday, 24 more people – 23 of them coming from other countries and states – have been reported positive for COVID-19. One other person got it through contact.

CM Pinarayi raised his face from the paper and spoke emotionally of the people coming from abroad, repeating that they have as much a right to the land as anyone else. “No door will be shut before them. They who struggle so much in a foreign land can come to their home any time. But my saying yesterday that the number of new cases began to increase with the arrival of people from other countries and states have been misread by some. These are false campaigns spreading hatred and should not be encouraged. Those propagating it may have other intentions.

It is important that we understand how the disease comes, only then can we prevent the spread. The disease spreads mainly through contact, and that has to be avoided. It doesn’t mean people of Kerala should not come to their home from another land. It doesn’t mean they are all carriers of the disease and we should keep them away. We need to protect them as well as keep those who have been living here safe. That’s why the quarantine is important, and that’s why we need to keep a strict vigil on the borders,” he said.

Citing a report spreading on the social media about a six member family in Ranni, who had come from Mumbai and had to remain on the streets for long, CM Pinarayi said that such isolated incidents should not be used to generalise the government’s attitude as inconsiderate towards the Non Resident Keralites. “There are lakhs of Malayalis living outside the state. It is true that they can’t all come together at once. Special arrangements have to be put in place. I request that everyone avoid hate campaigns during these times. It is not a responsibility of only the district and grama panchayat authorities to fight the disease, but everyone in the state should be together on it.”

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