According to Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, China returnees who are dodging health officials are proving to be a major impediment in their efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus
After three persons from Kerala tested positive for the fatal coronavirus, the state government on February 3 declared the epidemic a “state calamity”.
The southern state that boasts of advanced healthcare mechanisms is struggling to contain the outbreak of the virus that has killed 425 people in China. Meanwhile, stepping up efforts to bring the situation under control, the state government is planning to punish all China returnees who skip health scans.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has claimed that the epidemic was declared a state calamity to raise awareness about the novel pathogen and not to trigger panic. She informed that more than two thousand persons had already been quarantined while another 84 had been admitted to different hospitals.
Elaborating the state’s preparedness to deal with the further spread of the deadly disease, she said enough isolation wards had been kept ready. However, according to the health minister, China returnees who are dodging health officials are proving to be a major impediment in their efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
She said: “Despite our vigilance, some returnees are unfortunately dodging health officials, which can prove really dangerous. If they continue to do this, we will have to treat it as a crime. We need cooperation of all to tide over the crisis. We should be more alert to check secondary infection.”
KK Shailaja also claimed that there were chances of more quarantined patients testing positive for coronavirus, given that a total of 2,000 students from the state had returned from China. However, a medical protocol to tackle the same was reportedly formulated right after the first positive case was reported on January 30.
Apart from awareness programmes, the state government has also opened control rooms in all district headquarters, aside from forming rapid response teams. At present, they are trying to start a testing laboratory in Alappuzha itself so that less time is wasted on testing and confirming a case of Coronavirus infection.