Udayavni Special

Quarantine must for domestic air travellers: Kerala govt


PTI, May 22, 2020, 3:21 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Domestic flyers arriving in Kerala must undergo strict home quarantine as per the lockdown guidelines, in view of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state, Health Minister KK Shailaja said on Friday, May 22.

“Even if the domestic flight services resume, those coming in must remain under strict home quarantine as per the guidelines. There is no change in that. Most people will be coming from the major hotspots of the country,” she said.

Announcing the resumption of domestic flight services from May 25, the Civil Aviation Ministry indicated on Thursday that it was not in favor of quarantining passengers on short-haul flights.

However, the Assam government has made it mandatory for all air passengers to come to that state to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Apart from the health department and the local self-government institutions, Shailaja said the people of Kerala must also ensure that every returnee to the state remained under strict home quarantine in order to curb the spread of the disease.

“We need to strictly keep under observation all those who come from outside the state and make sure that they do not come into contact with others including their family members. They should effectively remain under room quarantine at their residence,” she said.

The state reported 690 cases after 24 more tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

As of now over 80,000 people are under observation across the state.

On the death of a 73-year-old woman, who came from Mumbai, on Thursday, the minister said, “Khadijakuttycame from Mumbai along with three others. She alighted at Chavakkad. Her son who picked her up from there took her to the govt hospital as she was tired. She was given good care.”

“However, as her condition worsened, she had taken a decision to sent her to the medical college. Her swab test was taken and she was tested positive, but she passed away,” Shailaja said.

The minister sounded a word of caution that there would be an increase in cases in the coming days as the influx of people coming from abroad and other states would continue.

“We cannot prevent anyone from coming. They are our brothers and were suffering there. We need to save those who come here and also those who are here,” the Minister said.

Shailaja said that the southern state had successfully managed the first two phases of the viral outbreak in January and March.

“There were three deaths. But we managed to save the rest of the people including a 93-year-old man,” she said.

The Minister further said the situation in the state changed after flight services resumed and the border roads were re-opened after May 7.

“Our fatality rate is low and the recovery rate is high. After May 7, when the flight restrictions were lifted and people from other states started coming in, we reported 188 cases. At least 90 percent of the positive cases came from outside and the rest are their contacts,” she noted.

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