With a third person in the state also being confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, Kerala government has decided to declare the disease as a state disaster or state calamity, said Minister for Health KK Shailaja on Monday.
The decision was as made as per the direction of Chief Minister Pinarayi and the Disaster Management Authority's apex committee meeting headed by Chief Secretary Tom Jose on Monday. After attending the meeting of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the health department, the Minister also told the media that measures have been taken to control the disease effectively.
â€śAt present, there are 2,239 persons in the state who have returned from other countries, including China, where coronavirus is reported. Among this 2,155 persons are under home quarantine in their houses, while 84 people are isolated in various hospitals in the state. Samples of 140 suspected cases have been sent for testing. Among this, 46 results have turned out to be negative. So far only three positive cases have been reported in the state".
The third case - a student who returned from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the outbreak - was confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus on Monday morning. The student is isolated at Kasaragod district hospital. The other two confirmed cases are also students who came from Wuhan, while one is admitted in Thrissur, the other person is in Alappuzha district.
According to the Health Minister, all three persons are stable. But she also added that more care and diligence should be shown as a third case has also turned positive in the state.
The health department has given repeated strict instructions that those who came from corona affected countries should contact the department once they reach Kerala.
â€śBut a rare few are hiding without doing this and it is a grave danger to do so. If such people are not at all listening to the instructions, it will have to be considered as an offence. One month long home quarantine is recommended. One's own life and the life of others are important,â€ť the minister said.
She also added that Kerala is taking this precaution since it was from the state that the maximum number of students went from Wuhan. â€śIf this spreads to others in a place which is thickly populated like ours, it will become very dangerous,â€ť she said.
Corona control rooms have also been set up at the health department headquarters as well at the district headquarters. Facility has been set up at the Institute of Virology Alappuzha for testing samples.
â€śEveryone should be on alert in the coming days,â€ť the minister added.