In the wake of reports of a few migrant labourers being forcefully evicted in certain parts of Kerala, the Chief Minister said that this will not be tolerated.

Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 19:45

For the first time, Wayanad district in Kerala has recorded a coronavirus positive case. On Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 19 more people in the state have tested positive, including one person in Wayanad. With this the total number of people infected in Kerala from January is 137, and Kollam remains the only district that does not have any case. Of this, 11 have recovered, and therefore the number of active cases in 126.

Most of the COVID-19 positive cases that were reported on Thursday were from Kannur district with nine people contracting the disease. Three positive coronavirus cases were from Kasaragod and Malappuram district, two cases in Thrissur and one case each was reported from Idukki and Wayanad. Two of the 19 people reported positive today are Kerala natives who returned from Dubai, the travel and contact history of others have not yet been released by the state.

As the number of patients go up, the numbers of those under observation too has been steadily going up- and crossed a lakh on Thursday. While 601 people are isolated in hospitals, the rest are under home quarantine. 

Five patients who tested negative for coronavirus in Ernakulam district on Wednesday, were discharged from hospital. This includes the three member Kannur native family, including a 3-year old child and parents; and two UK nationals.. 

Read: UK national with COVID-19 boards flight from Kochi, 289 passengers offloaded

Meanwhile, the government has identified a total of 879 private hospitals which have 69,434 isolation beds and 5,607 intensive care units. 716 hostels have also been identified to meet any unprecedented situations. 

The Chief Minister also urged that youth - those aged between 22 years to 40 years - should come out readily for various voluntary services. 

“Volunteers are also needed to assist people as bystanders at hospitals, to distribute food to those in quarantine,” the Chief Minister said. Already 1,465 youngsters have registered with the Kerala State Youth Commission.

‘Don’t forcefully evict migrant labourers’

In the wake of reports of a few migrant labourers being forcefully evicted in certain parts of Kerala, the Chief Minister said that this will not be tolerated.

“Forcefully evicting migrant labourers from the places they live in won’t be allowed. It has come to our notice that this has happened at some places. Stern action will be taken against such people. The government is also keen to ensure food and medicine for migrant labourers. People who are not cooperating with the lockdown will cause defamation to the state,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Chief Minister also reassured those Malayalis stuck in other countries and states by saying that they don’t need to worry about relatives back home. 

“Scores of Keralites across the country have raised concern about the situation. Those who had been to other states have expressed willingness to come back, but there is a problem with commutation,” said Pinarayi.

In the wake of beverages (Bevco) outlets, bars and toddy shops being closed in the state, Pinarayi Vijayan said that the making of illicit liquor has begun in the state. The Excise department will be extremely cautious in checking this, he said.

Stern Action Against Price Hike

The Chief Minister warned that hiking prices of essential commodities in the state will not be allowed. 

“The government has received a few complaints that some shops are hiking prices. It has been already made clear that traders shouldn’t unnecessarily hike the price of commodities. Commodities should be sold out at reasonable prices only,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.  

CM also promised that import of commodities will not be prevented despite the lockdown. He said that special arrangements will be made to do away with the difficulties of importing commodities.