The CM and other ministers went into quarantine after several Malappuram district officials, who led the rescue operations at the Karipur plane crash site, tested positive.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Health Minister KK Shailaja test negative in antigen test
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, August 14, 2020 - 21:26

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who went into quarantine on Friday, has tested negative for coronavirus. The CM went into quarantine after several Malappuram district officials, who were part of the rescue operations at the plane crash site at Karipur airport, were diagnosed with COVID-19. Pinarayi Vijayan had visited the site along with Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on August 8.  

Health Minister KK Shailaja, who had also accompanied him to the Kozhikode air crash site, tested negative. Chief Minister’s office sources confirmed to TNM that the CM and the Health Minister tested negative in the antigen test conducted on Friday.

The rapid antigen test, which checks if the person is currently infected with the virus, gives results between 15 and 30 minutes. Although the positive result is considered confirmatory, a negative result via antigen test should be followed by an RT-PCR test, according to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Although it is uncertain if an RT-PCR test will be done, the CM and Health Minister will be under observation while in quarantine.   

Pinarayi Vijayan, Shailaja teacher and five other Kerala ministers went into quarantine on Friday.

According to a notice from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Friday noon, he went into quarantine after several officers, who monitored the rescue operations at the Kozhikode air crash site, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan was the first official to test positive for SaRS-CoV-2. In a picture from the site during the CM’s visit, the Collector can be seen standing between Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta and Pinarayi Vijayan.

Malappuram District Police Chief U Abdul Karim, who had also visited the air crash location, has also tested positive. He is admitted at the Manjeri Medical College Hospital in the district.

The other ministers, who are currently in quarantine, include Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar, Local Self Government Minister AC Moideen, Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel and Ports Minister Kadannappalli Ramachandran.

Speaker of the Assembly P Sreeramakrishnan has also gone into quarantine. Apart from Pinarayi and his cabinet colleagues, three Members of Parliament (MPs) of the  Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) will also quarantine themselves. These MPs are PK Kunhalikutty, ET Muhammed Basheer and PV Abdul Wahab. 

The MPs from Malappuram had also visited the airport site located in Karipur, where an Air India Express flight from Dubai had overshot the table-top runway of the Calicut International Airport on August 7. The air crash claimed the lives of 18 people, including the two pilots.

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