Monday 9 March 2020 1:58 AM UTC
New Delhi March 9: Five of a family in Kerala have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people in the country to 39. Three persons in the family had recently visited Italy, one of the nations that reported the most cases of coronavirus. State health Minister KK Shailaja said the family did not share their travel history at the airport and were not screened.
“They also refused to be hospitalised initially and we had to persuade them,” the minister said.
Among the five people – all residents of Pathanamthitta district — who tested positive, are a couple in their 50s and their 26-year-old son. All five have been admitted to the Pathnamathitta general hospital and are under observation.
“On returning, the family had met some relatives. It was the relatives who approached a hospital with symptoms and they were isolated. Two of the relatives have tested positive. The family which travelled to Italy was also isolated later,” the minister said.
The medical officials have shifted the elderly parents of the couple- who lived with them — to a medical college as a precautionary measure, since they are in their ’90s.
“We are urging people to share the travel information with authorities. We have stepped up the precaution in Pathanamthitta. We have started contact tracing,” the minister said.
The three who went to Italy, had returned from Venice with a stopover at Doha. They landed in Kochi on the morning of March 1.
India’s first three cases of coronavirus were also reported from Kerala. All three patients have recovered from the disease.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting with officials to discuss the outbreak. They were asked to identify locations for sufficient quarantine facilities and make provisions for critical care in case the disease spreads further.
Nearly 6,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Italy, of whom more than 225 people are dead. The Italian government has placed large parts of the north under lockdown to contain the virus.
Starting from China’s Wuhan city in December, the coronavirus has spread to over 95 nations and territories. More than 3,500 people are dead and 100,000 people have been infected.
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