In Kasaragod, virus spread from patient to 4 contacts within 20 minutes: Collector

Source: The News Minute | Published on 27th March 2020, 6:26 PM | Coastal News |

Kasaragod: With increasing cases of COVID-19 reported in Kerala, Kasaragod has come under the spotlight for being the most vulnerable district in the state. On Wednesday, Kasaragod Collector D Sajith Babu confirmed that the virus SARS-CoV2, which causes the COVID-19 disease, had spread from Patient 2 to four of his primary contacts within just 20 minutes. 

Patient 2 in Kasaragod, who had flown in from Dubai, had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 16. 

Patient 2 had given his swabs for testing and gone home as he was advised to be in home isolation. His wife, child and mother who met him for just twenty minutes before he isolated himself tested  positive on March 20. Also a friend who had picked him up in a car from the airport has also tested positive. These four contacts are Patients 4,5,6 and 7. Along with Patient 2, they are currently admitted to isolation wards in the district. 

Apart from Patient 2, the district awaits the test results of those who came in contact with Patient 3, the 47-year-old Eriyal native and businessman who had returned from Dubai and potentially exposed thousands of people in four districts by attending several clubs, three weddings, a funeral in Kannur’s Thaliparamba and multiple public events. The patient has reportedly exposed over 1400 persons in the state, triggering widespread containment measures in Kasaragod. 

“Wednesday’s test results are crucial to understand the situation in Kasaragod. We are awaiting the results of 77 samples sent for testing. It is a critical day,” the Collector stated. The samples given for testing today, includes those who came in contact with the 47-year-old Eriyal native. 

Currently the most vulnerable district in Kerala, Kasaragod has been under a total lockdown since March 21. The district has reported the highest number of cases in Kerala with 41 positive cases of COVID-19 reported as on Tuesday. 

Regarding swab test kits available in the district, the Collector explained that Kasaragod had 13 lakh people and that test kits were not available for each and every person.

“Our doctors will tell us who to test and whom not to test. We do not have 13 lakh test kits here, but we do not need to test each and every person,” he added. 

The Collector also warned of strict action and arrests against persons who were found on the road. “All volunteer services are banned in the district. We do not want anyone coming out of their houses and on to the roads to help us. If we want volunteers the district administration or the Collector will inform volunteer groups,” he added in his press meet.

In Tuesday’s press briefing, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan added that the total number of persons under observation in the state is  72,460 . Among them, 71,994 are under home quarantine while 467 are isolated in hospitals. 

Kerala has so far tested 4,516 samples of people, out of this 3331 has returned negative. On Tuesday, 164 suspected cases have been admitted to hospitals in the state, the Chief Minister added.

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