Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja (Photo Credit: ANI/Twitter)
The Kerala government on Tuesday said no fresh positive cases of novel coronavirus infection was reported from the state, even as 2,421 are under watch at houses and hospitals. At least 100 people with minor symptoms of the virus are at isolation wards of various hospitals, state Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
India's three positive cases for the virus has been from the state's three districts-- Thrissur, Alappuzha and Kasaragod.
All the three are students of China's Wuhan university, the epicentre of the epidemic.
“No new cases of coronavirus have been detected in the state today. At least 2,321 are under observation at home while 100 are in isolation wards at various hospital across the state,” Shailaja said.
The health status of the three patients, who had tested positive for the virus infection, “remains satisfactory,” she said.
After three cases were reported, the LDF government had declared the epidemic as a “state calamity” on Monday.
“Even though there are no positive cases today, we need to be careful and I would like to reiterate that 28 days is the quarantine period.
There are certain other diseases like H1N1 also. So, it is necessary to maintain personal hygiene. Wash your hands and keep the locality clean. Our aim is to avoid fatal cases," the minister said.
Allaying fears, Shailaja said the government has deployed 191 personnel across the state and till now 1,043 patients have been given counselling.
Meanwhile, Rathan U Kelkar, the State Mission Director of the National Health Mission, said the union health ministry has asked the states to “replicate Kerala model” for containing the virus.
Asked about two persons who disregarded health authorities directions to refrain from travelling during the virus's incubation period and left for a Gulf nation while they were under home quarantine in Kozhikode, Shailaja said they had gone to Saudi Arabia and attempts were on to trace them.
“We came to know about it. We are trying to trace them. We want them to be kept under home quarantine. Once they are traced, we will inform the authorities concerned to keep them under observation,” she said.
The health ministry also said it has identified 82 people who came in direct contact with the first patient from Thrissur, 51 people, who had been in contact with the second patient in Alappuzha and 29 in contact with the third from Kasaragod.
The minister said the government had held a meeting with the Indian Medical Association and discussed arrangements of maintaining isolation wards in private hospitals.
“It is a huge task to open an isolation area for the patients in government hospitals. We have joined hands with IMA to open isolation wards in private hospitals in case of emergency,” she said.
Of the 2,421 people under observation, the maximum number is from Malappuram (357), followed by Kozhikode (316), Ernakulam (315) and Thrissur (230).