COVID-19: Infected Kerala youth from Italy denies violating airport protocol

COVID-19: InfectedKerala youth from Italy denies violating airport protocol
The family landed at the Cochin International Airport on on February 29. Image for representation only

Pathanamthitta: A Keralite man, who tested positive for Coronavirus after his return to the state from Italy, has refuted allegations that he and his family had consciously tried to conceal the fact that they were coming from an affected country.

"We came home to see our elderly relatives. If we knew, we had the disease, would we dare to do something like this?" he asked.

The family of three were received by his sister at the Cochin International Airport. The sister has also been now admitted to the isolation ward of the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

"My own sister and her four-year-old daughter received me at the hospital. If we knew we were infected, would we hug the little girl? Kiss her?" he asked.

The youth told Manorama that if any of the officials at the Cochin airport had asked them to undergo tests, they would have readily done so

“Though we said we were coming from Italy, no one asked us to undergo any tests.  We did not consciously try to hide our travel details. Anybody can find out where we are coming from by checking the passport," he pointed out.

The affected family also refused allegation that they went to the church and movies on their return to the native land.

"The only health trouble my mother had was due to high blood pressure. For that she sought treatment at the private hospital," he said.

The youth further said that he was not aware that they had to report at the hospital on the return from a foreign country. Nor did anyone inform them about it.

The youth also said that they had undergone checks at the airport in Italy before they boarded the flight and confirmed that they were not infected.

Collector refutes claims

Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas on Monday refuted the claims made by the youth. He said the family did not follow the protocol to be complied with at the airport. “They did not inform their details even to immigration officials,” he said.

182 passengers to be put under home quarantine

Kochi: The Health Department has collected the details of 182 passengers, who travelled with the affected family on the Doha-Kochi Qatar Airways. They would be quarantined at home, district medical officer Dr N K Kuttappan said.

The affected family had reached Doha from Venice in Italy.

The Doha-Kochi flight landed at the Cochin International Airport on 8.20am on February 29.

Details of all those who interacted with the Italy-returned family, including airport personnel and vehicle drivers, would be collected. All the airport personnel, who were on duty on February 29, have been asked to undergo medical examination.

Meanwhile, Travancore Devaswom Board president N Vasu appealed to all those, who would have directly or indirectly interacted with infected people, to avoid visiting the Sabarimala temple. The temple would be opened from March 13 to March 18 for the monthly pooja

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