COVID-19: Lockdown violations continued to be reported from across the state, with police saying saying three cases were registered at Kozhikode, Chavakkad in Thrissur district and Peringamala in Thiruvananthapuram and 30 people arrested for violating the rules.
Coronavirus in India: Eleven people tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Saturday, three of whom had returned from the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, taking the total number of COVID-19 patients in the state to 254, health minister K K Shailaja said. Of the new cases, six are from Kasaragod district and one each from Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Kannur districts, she said. “Five of the new cases confirmed today are those who returned from Dubai, three came back from the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin, one who came back from Nagpur and two got infected through primary contact locally,” she said.
In a relief to the health department, eight patients — 7 from Kannur and one from Thiruvananthapuram — were discharged. Kerala has so far reported 306 confirmed COVID-19 cases and as of now, 1,71,355 persons are under observation. “As many as 1,70,621 people are under home observation and 734 in hospitals and 174 persons were hospitalised today. A total of 9,744 samples of those who had symptoms were sent for testing and 8,586 reports were negative,” Shailaja said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a video conference with legislators and sought their cooperation in the “joint- fight” against the pandemic. He urged them to monitor community kitchens in their areas and ensure that food was made available to the needy. Opposition Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala wanted the government to allot a special fund for local self government institutions to fight the pandemic.
Meanwhile, rapid testing for coronavirus started at Pothencode panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district, from where the second COVID-19 death was reported. The panchayat and a 3-km area around it has been locked down completely in an effort to track down all of those who had come in contact with the deceased man. The state had received 1,000 rapid testing kits on Friday and at least 2,000 more are expected on Sunday.
With these kits, the results of COVID-19 tests, which takes at least 7-8 hours, will be out in 2.5 hours. Vijayan, in a tweet on Saturday, debunked ‘fake news’ of closure of border roads with Tamil Nadu. “The relationship between Kerala and Tamil Nadu is bonded in love, brotherhood, history, language and culture. People who make fake news can’t fathom the depth of the relationship between the two States. Together we will overcome the challenges. Love & Respect,” he tweeted.
Lockdown violations continued to be reported from across the state, with police saying saying three cases were registered at Kozhikode, Chavakkad in Thrissur district and Peringamala in Thiruvananthapuram and 30 people arrested for violating the rules and crowding at mosques on Friday. A 68-year-old man who walked from Madurai to the state capital through the railway track was taken into custody by railway authorities.
He told police that he began walking since March 14 from madurai and that he was returning after a temple visit. In Kochi, 41 people who ventured out for a morning walk in early Saturday morning, were booked after they were caught on night vision cameras of a drone deployed by police to enforce social distancing to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. The violators were 39 men and two women, police said.
They were charged under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and Section 4 of The Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020 passed by the Kerala government last week, police said. The Kerala Police also registered 2,047 cases for violation of lockdown protocol and travelling in the state.
“A total of 2,047 cases were registered today against those who travelled in the state in the violation of lockdown protocols. Arrest of 1962 were recorded and 1,481 vehicles were seized,” police said. As per the latest health ministry report, Kasaragod has 123 positive cases and 195 are in isolation wards.
Neighbouring Kannur district has 47 positive cases and Ernakulam has 18 cases of COVID-19. Kozhikode district has the most number of people under observation in the state –21,934, followed by Palakkad where 19,325 are under observation.