The pastor had been conducting prayers in the containment zone area of Peerumedu.

Person in a PPE shield giving samples to health workerImage for representation
Coronavirus Crime Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 18:03

A Christian pastor who had been conducting prayers at different places in Idukki’s Peerumedu has turned positive for coronavirus. He was booked by the police under the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Act. It was also learnt that he conducted prayers at different houses by laying hands on the head of the believers.

After the 59-year-old pastor turned positive, six more areas of Peerumedu were declared containment zones. He was charged with a fine of Rs 25,000 for violating COVID-19 regulations.

As per reports, the pastor had conducted a prayer service at the home of a quarantined family in Pambanar. Later, a few of the family members had turned positive.

The families with whom the pastor held prayers were asked to go into home quarantine. The Health Department is yet to complete the tracing of primary contacts of the pastor.

Ward 13 in Peerumedu was declared a containment zone earlier, after a plantation worker tested positive. The pastor belonged to the same ward and was not allowed to visit houses in the area.

Idukki is one of the districts with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala. 366 patients are currently under treatment in the district. Wayanad has the lowest number of patients at 219. Over 350 people are under hospital quarantine in Idukki.

Most of the cases in the district were through local transmission. Last week, a death was reported from the district due to COVID-19. 69-year-old Thankaraj, a heart patient, died at the Idukki Medical College Hospital. He and his family had come to Idukki from Gudalur.

However, there are no COVID-19 testing labs in Idukki, which is causing concerns in the district. Samples from the district are sent to Kottayam for testing, leading to a delay in results. Activists and opposition party leaders have criticised the government for not taking any initiative in the district regarding the lack of testing labs.

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