After two police officers, who were on duty at the Mananthavady police station in Wayanad, tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 on Wednesday, more than 20 fellow policemen, including senior officials, have gone into quarantine.
The swab samples of 24 policemen were sent for testing on May 11 after it was learnt that a person who had visited the police station on April 28 and May 2, for allegedly violating the lockdown rules, eventually tested positive. This infected man is the primary contact of the trucker driver who tested positive after returning from Chennai’s Koyembedu market.
Among the samples of the policemen, two turned positive. The two policemen are natives of Kannur and Malappuram. While one police officer returned to his home in Kannur soon after he gave his samples on Monday, the second official attended duty for two more days and interacted with his superiors.
As per reports, the second policeman who tested positive had visited many places with the Mananthavady Deputy Superintendent of Police and was on duty till Tuesday. On Wednesday, all the policemen who worked in the Mananthavady police station were asked to self-quarantine.
“The infected person, who had visited the station on May 2, was tested positive on Sunday. The next day, the samples of police officers were collected,” a police officer at Mananthavady police station told TNM.
“The second officer who tested positive had attended the duty before his results came out. In fact, he had visited a few places and now many senior officers are in his contact list. But it’s not just him, many other police officers of the station, who are secondary contacts of the infected person, did not go into quarantine after giving their samples,” the officer said.
The police station is now closed to the public.
There are 11 coronavirus cases in Wayanad, where 10 were infected through contact. A truck driver who came from Koyambedu in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai city was tested positive in the first week of May. The 10 other patients are his primary or secondary contacts. Two days ago, the truck driver's 11-month-old grandchild, too, tested positive.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that samples of 300 policemen in Wayanad have been tested, and so far three policemen have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the district.