Another COVID-19 positive patient in Kerala has been found to have violated the mandatory home quarantine rule imposed by the state, exposing hundreds of people in Palakkad to the highly contagious virus.
On Thursday, district collector D Balamurali confirmed that the 51-year-old man from Karukusseri in Mannarkkad has been booked under section 269 of the Indian Penal Code (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life).
A day before this, on March 25, the patient was tested positive for the novel coronavirus or SARS-COV2, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Fifteen of his primary contacts, including his family of 9, have now been placed under observation by the health department.
It was over a week ago, on March 13, that the patient had flown into Karipur Airport in an Air India flight from Dubai after finishing his Umrah.
Despite airport authorities instructing him to observe a 14-day home quarantine, the 51-year-old man visited two local mosques for prayers multiples times a day, the Karukusseri orphanage or Yatheemkhana, a private hospital, a vegetable store, a tailor shop in Mannarkkad and a petrol pump in Mukkanam. He even entertained multiple guests and went for a private function at Arampara which was attended by 15 others, prior to his isolation.
Two days before his test results arrived, the patient began observing home quarantine. By then however, he had exposed hundreds of people in Mannarkkad. The 51-year-old's route map, prepared by the health department, identifies 15 people as his primary contacts. This includes his 44-year-old wife, four sons - one of whom works as a bus conductor with the Kerala RTC, a daughter, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.
Route Map of Patient 3 in Palakkad
Apart from this, two of his friends, two students from the Madrassa he visited, the Ustad of the Yatheemkhana and the tailor who sat in the Karukusseri store are being observed.
Additionally, doctors and staff of the private hospital he visited, customers and staff of the vegetable market, those who attended the private function and mosque prayers with the patient are now being observed.
Palakkad has so far reported 3 positive cases of the novel coronavirus. However, with the latest positive case, the list of persons under observation will now increase drastically. Mannarkkad will also have tighter regulations as the risk of a community spread has increased in the area. Kerala has so far reported a total of 118 cases of COVID-19, with 112 patients still under care, while 6 have been reported as recovered.