A Naripatta native who came from Chennai to Kozhikode district on May 10 and later tested positive for coronavirus had slept one night outside a closed shop in Vadakara after he was denied entry into a COVID-19 care centre.
As per a post on the Kozhikode District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao’s Facebook page, the man (31st patient from the district) had reached the Walayar checkpost early in the morning on May 9 from Chennai and had waited there for almost 12 hours because he did not have a pass to cross into Kerala.
The next day, he reached Vadakara around 11.55 pm along with two others after they were given a vehicle by the police from the checkpost. One of them went into home quarantine while the Naripatta man and another companion went to Alathur Residency, a COVID-19 care centre. The companion had pre-booked a spot at the centre and was admitted while the Naripatta man could not get admission.
“He spent the night on the veranda of a shop near the centre. In the morning, he got information that a quarantine facility was available in the Ayurveda hospital. He took an autorickshaw from the Vadakara old bus stand to the Palolipallam Ayurveda hospital. After reaching the hospital, he learnt that the facility was not available there too. While having tea at a nearby shop, locals noticed him and informed the police station. He was then shifted to a quarantine home in Naripatta. On May 13 he showed symptoms, so we shifted to the Medical College Hospital and on May 14 it was confirmed that he had coronavirus,” the post from the district collector said.
After he tested positive, Chandanam Paramba municipal ward councillor Beena Kuniyil who had arranged to send him to the quarantine place also went into home quarantine.
The Naripatta man was not able to go home as he had aged parents and small children at his place. He also did not have a separate room at his house suitable for quarantine.
Speaking to TNM, councillor Beena said, “I got a call informing me about a man who had come from Chennai. When I met him, he had no symptoms but he looked very tense. Since he didn’t belong to Vadakara municipality, we were unable to admit him in the quarantine centres here. He could not go home as he had an aged bedridden father and two small children at his place. The family was living in a shed as their house was under renovation. So, I coordinated with the Naripatta panchayat president and arranged his quarantine at his brother’s house after shifting his brother’s family from there. Since no vehicles were ready to take him home, we arranged a 108 ambulance.”
An auto driver, a tea shop owner near the Ayurveda hospital, and a policeman also went into quarantine along with the councillor.