Thiruvananthapuram/Kannur: Three magistrates and at least 150 people, including several police personnel, have been sent into quarantine in two districts in Kerala after three remand prisoners tested positive for COVID-19.
Two remand prisoners are from Kannur while one is from Thiruvananthapuram.
Law Minister A K Balan had expressed concerns over people violating quarantine rules and warned of the possibility of community transmission, after five new cases were reported from Palakkad district.
While one prisoner had been arrested from his home in Kannur on a police woman's complaint, another remand prisoner had surrendered before the Payyanur magistrate court in an Arms case on May21.
After the sample test results of the two were found positive for the infection, two magistrates, court officials and 26 police personnel have gone into quarantine.
According to officials, in Thiruvananthapuram, an accused, who was arrested along with two others in connection with a case relating to the illicit transportation of liquor two days ago, tested positive following which a magistrate and over 34 police personnel have been asked to go into quarantine.
The Nedumangad court magistrate, before whom the man was produced, 34 police personnel, including a circle inspector, who were on duty at the Venjaramoodu police station when he was brought after his arrest, some employees of a government hospital where his swab sample was taken and 12 officials of the Poojapura central jail have gone on quarantine, PTI reported quoting police sources.
Malayalam actor Suraj Venjaramoodu and Vamanapuram MLA D K Murali (CPI) have been asked by the health department to go into home quarantine as they had attended a function in which the circle inspector had taken part.
Two days ago, a car in which the illicit liqour was being transported, had hit a policeman and sped away, but some local people managed tostop the vehicle and the three accused, who were in an inebriated state, were arrested, police sources said.
Kerala confirmed 49 more COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the tally if active cases to 359. There are 59 hotspots in the state.
(With inputs from PTI)