Kerala saw seven new positive cases on Tuesday, as well as its second COVID-19 death.

Dont send fake coronavirus messages on April Fools Day Kerala CM warns
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 20:32

As Kerala reported seven positive cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total count of active cases in the state to 215, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had a message for people on the eve of April Fools’ Day — don’t send fake messages.

The Chief Minister warned people against playing pranks and spreading false messages on social media regarding the novel coronavirus. April 1 is celebrated around the world as April Fools’ Day.

Two new cases have been reported from Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod each, while Kollam, Thrissur and the northern district of Kannur saw one case each, the Chief Minister confirmed in his press meet.

Meanwhile, four COVID-19 positive patients, two each from Pathanamthitta and Kannur district, have now recovered after testing negative for the virus. A total of 1,63,129 people have been placed under observation in the state with 1,62,471 persons under home quarantine and 658 others in hospital isolation.

Kerala also reported its second COVID-19 death on Tuesday morning, after a 68-year-old native of Pothencode in Thiruvananthapuram who tested positive for the virus passed away in the Medical College hospital where he was isolated.

The deceased did not have a foreign travel history and health workers are yet to establish if he had come in contact with any coronavirus-positive person. However, he had taken part in a number of functions and had come in contact with a lot of people. Speaking to the media, Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the deceased had likely contracted the virus by coming in contact with an infected person. The state health department is now looking into this.

A total of 150 suspected cases of SARS-COV-2, which causes COVID-19, were admitted to hospitals across the state on Tuesday alone. The state has sent 7,485 samples have been sent for testing, out of which 6,381 returned negative for the virus.

“Laboratories have now begun collecting more samples for testing. More samples are being tested and results are given out,” the Chief Minister added. Kerala had also announced, on Monday, that it would do rapid tests on suspected patients to identify the possibility of a community spread.

Kasaragod hospitals have the highest number of patients who are being observed for symptoms of coronavirus. A total of 163 people are in hospital isolation, the CM confirmed. Kannur and Malappuram follow Kasaragod with 108 and 102 suspected cases admitted to hospitals in the districts.

Special Action Plan in Kasaragod

With over 106 positive cases reported in Kasaragod, the government has brought into effect a special action plan in the district in order to flatten the curve.

Data from the Panchayat levels in Kasaragod on persons with cough and fever, and those who came in contact with such persons will be collected. Based on this, samples will be sent for testing. Further, COVID-19 centres in Kasaragod Medical College have begun operations. The Kasaragod Central University has also received permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research to become a COVID-19 centre, the CM confirmed.

The Nizamuddin conference

With the Tabligh Jamaat conference in Nizamuddin, New Delhi and Malaysia becoming  centres of fresh clusters of the virus, the Chief Minister added that there was a need to ascertain whether attendees of the conference from Kerala and people who interacted with these attendees have contracted the virus.

“Detailed investigation is being done by our police officers now. A list of people who attended and those who met them are also being prepared by the district collectors. Measures are also being taken to contain any possible spread in these districts,” the CM added.

Malayali health workers in other states will be supported

The Chief Minister also disclosed that medical professionals, especially nurses who are battling COVID-19 in hospitals across India, particularly from Mumbai and Delhi were calling up the government with concerns about the disease.

“Some of them have only called us up and expressed their concerns. We will notify the centre regarding measures to be taken for their protection and security,” the CM added.

Issues faced by migrant labourers in state

With several migrant workers in the state taking to the streets, demanding that they be allowed to return to their home states during a lockdown, CM Pinarayi added that the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) will monitor the migrant labour situation in the state.

“Migrant workers will be given identity cards. They will be given insurance as part of Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee scheme,” he added.

The CM also classified the migrant worker population into two categories - contract labourers and independent workers. “Independent migrant labourers should be given special care. When giving aid, those labourers who stay independent should not be left out. Local body officials should take note this happens and there should not be a failure in this,” he said.

Domestic violence during lockdown

Addressing the possibility of increased cases of domestic abuse and violence faced by women during this lockdown period, the Chief Minister said, “Mostly women and children are victims of domestic violence. There should be strict vigilance to ensure that this does not happen. People’s representatives, Kudumbashree members and anganwadi workers should be cautious about what is going on in their localities.”

He also added that men should also chip in with housework during this lockdown period as most households usually see only its women working.

Karnataka-Kerala border remains closed

With several people from Kasargod denied medical facilities as Mangaluru remains inaccessible due to the closing of the Kerala-Karnataka border, the Chief Minister said that there was no response yet from the Karnataka government. Kerala reported three deaths over the last week of patients who could not reach Mangaluru and receive treatment.

“We had contacted Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda and Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the issue of the closure of the Karnataka-Kerala border. However, they are yet to get back on the issue. I am optimistic that they will do whatever is necessary,” he added. 

Read:

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