The government has said that it is strengthening preventive measures in the wake of the fresh cases.
"Five people from Pathanamthitta district, who are in the isolation ward, have tested positive for coronavirus. Of this, three people including the parents and a son have travelled down from Italy and they did not report at the airport. They also visited some of the relatives near their house and two of these relatives are also tested positive now," said state health minister K K Shailaja. All the five patients are in isolation and are under observation.
The minister alleged that those who arrived from Italy did not cooperate with isolation procedures and the health department was forced to shift them to the hospital. Preventive measures were strengthened in the district since Saturday night, after receiving the report and contact tracing is expected to be completed by Sunday evening. Those who have tested positive traveled in the Qatar Airways flights, QR 126, from Venice to Doha flight and QR 514 aircraft from Doha to Kochi on February 29. Passengers who travelled in these flights on that day have to report to hospitals in their vicinity.
The minister reiterated that those who arrive from other countries where Coronavirus is reported, especially from Iran, Italy, South Korea and China, have to report to officials at the airport itself or at least approach the nearby health centre after reaching home. Failure to report will be considered a violation in the future. Neighbours can also contact the health department if they come across information that somebody traveling from these countries in their neighbourhood.
"We need the cooperation from entire society to trace such things. We will take all steps to address the issue. We have reduced the home quarantine duration to 14 when the cases receded, but with the fresh events, we are imposing it back to 28 days. Those who are in home quarantine can contact the control room, which is working round the clock, for any help," she added.