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14 fresh cases in Kerala, number of COVID-19 patients goes up

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

With coronavirus cases rapidly increasing in the southern state, Kerala crossed the 100-mark with 14 new cases being reported on Tuesday, taking the total number of people undergoing treatment to 105.

A health worker was among those infected by the virus, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a COVID-19 review meeting.

The Chief Minister said the situation in the northernmost Kasaragod district was worrisome as six more positive cases were detected.

Six cases were reported from Kasaragod, three from Kozhikode, one each from Malappuram, Palakkad, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts, he said.

At least 72,460 people were under observation besides 467 in isolation wards of various hospitals, the chief minister said.

Even though the lockdown was imposed from Monday midnight, people were not cooperating and many were seen moving around in their private vehicles, he said.

Vijayan asked people not to undertake any travel unless in case of emergency.

"Today is the first day of lockdown in the state. This is a first in the state. We need to understand the seriousness of the matter.

But many people were wandering around unnecessarily... it seems like people are not interested in following the directions. Many ventured out today," he said.

Those who come out in their private vehicles should submit an affidavit on the purpose of travel and other details.

"The permission for private vehicles are for emergency purposes only. People are considering it as an opportunity.

We have decided to gather the details of such vehicles, the name and address of the driver, the purpose of travel, destination and time of return in an affidavit format," he said.

Those who give false information will be caught and legal action will be taken, he added.

Vijayan also warned traders who "exploit the situation" and increase prices of essential articles and said regular inspections will take place and violators booked.

The Left leader said the state government will take care of the destitute people and the local self-governments (LSG) would play a vital role in tackling the pandemic.

"At some places there are many who don't have own place to sleep. Some rest in front of shops or on the street.

Such people will be identified by the LSGs and necessary steps will be taken to provide them accommodation and food," he said.

With the possibility of more cases surfacing, the state government has issued directions to legislators in the state to identify the buildings or houses which could be used as isolation wards in case of emergency.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders have been issued in at least seven districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Pathnamthitta and Ernakulam.

At least 402 cases have been registered in Kerala on Tuesday against those who violated the lockdown.

The highest of 123 cases were registered in registered in Thiruvananthapuram district followed by Kollam 70 and Ernakulam 69, sources said.

Four patients who tested positive had been treated and discharged earlier-- three from Wuhan and one from Kannur.

Thrissur district has the most number of people under observation, 10,908, followed by Malappuram with 9,898.

The worst hit Kasaragod district with 45 positive COVID-19 cases has 2,736 people under observation of which 85 are in isolation wards.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 21:06 IST
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