Coronavirus: One more tests positive in Kerala, 25 active cases now

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Thiruvananthapuram: After a lull of two days, one person, who was in isolation in Kerala's Kasaragod district, has tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, taking the total number of infected in state to 25.

The infected person is said to have returned from Dubai and had been in isolation ever since. The chances of the infected person transmitting the disease is therefore considered highly minimal.

There is something to cheer, too. The Italian tourist in Varkala who is said to have had contacts with at least 500 locals has tested negative. Though he first recorded positive, the confirmatory test done 48 hours later has turned negative.

The Italian's contact tracing had posed a serious issue as the district administration was finding it virtually impossible to identify a majority of people who had come into contact with him. They were able to identify only less than 120.

Even then, as part of abundant caution, 31,173 persons are under surveillance in Kerala on Thursday, a nearly 22 per cent increase from the previous day (25,603). On March 18, there was a 72 per cent increase in the number of people brought under surveillance.

On Thursday, 6,103 people were brought under surveillance. At the same time, 5,155 have been freed from isolation after they were cleared of any diseases. Of the 31,173 kept under surveillance, 30,926 or more than 99 per cent are cared for in houses.

Though 67 were admitted on Thursday, there are only 237 in hospitals, same as yesterday. This shows that at least till now, health authorities have managed to keep the pressure on the health system at a very minimal and sustainable level.

Till now, 2,929 samples were sent for testing. Of this, 2,342 or nearly 80 per cent has turned up negative. Health authorities are waiting for the results of the rest.

Three people, who had tested positive, had been treated and discharged earlier.

If at all things turn for the worse, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the military had assured all support. He said that military hospitals, in necessary, would be spared for coronavirus care. Besides, he said the military had expressed its willingness to convert the barracks into temporary isolation centres. The services of their doctors and paramedical staff would also be provided.

He said armed force helicopters would also be deployed in an emergency.

"If a need arises, these helicopters can be used to to carry food, medicines and other supplies," the Chief Minister said.

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