Two persons from Kozhikode, who had recently arrived from China, left for Saudi Arabia, defying instructions from Kerala State Health Department. They reportedly refused to be in quarantine, as suggested by the department. The health officials are now trying to bring them back. The department said that though the individuals do not show any symptoms they have to be in quarantine.
Speaking to the media in Kozhikode, the District Medical Officer Dr Jayashree said that 60 people recently returned from China and 58 among them are under the department’s observation. Two, however, left the country.
"Two persons left to Saudi ignoring our instructions. They left without our knowledge. This shows that we have to intensify our vigilance. We have taken all measures to find them and keep them safe," she said in a council meeting by corporation members and medical officers held on Tuesday. The remaining 58 people are strictly following the health department's instructions, said officials.
The council also decided to assign a team that consists of corporation councilors to follow up with people who are in quarantine at home. Around 310 people are under observation in Kozhikode district. The council also decided to intensify the awareness program. The results of four people, who are receiving treatment at Beach Hospital and Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, returned negative and they will soon be discharged.
Meanwhile, Health Minister KK Shailaja told the media that there may be a possibility of more coronavirus cases in Kerala, besides the three confirmed cases so far. "There can be more cases. We are taking it seriously. We need financial assistance from the Centre to deal with the situation. They have to help even without our request," she said.
The health authorities also face another problem as many who are returning from abroad are not very keen at voluntary disclosure of their travel itinerary for fear of being asked to go into quarantine at their homes.
One reason why people feel jittery is the advisory from the health authorities that has said all those in observation have to remain indoors for 28 days and this gives them "a feel of being ostracised".
Meanwhile, the three people who have tested positive are recovering well and their condition remains stable, Health Minister KK Shailaja said.
In a related development, with more people placed under observation in Kerala, Karnataka authorities have increased vigil in border areas, with everyone arriving in vehicles being checked for fever or flu.
Kerala has reported three positive cases of coronavirus and has over 2,500 people under observation. The state government on Monday declared a state calamity and health authorities are seeking to extend all help to the needy.