The Kerala government on Monday declared novel coronavirus epidemic as a "state calamity" with a third student testing positive for the infection in the state.
State Health Minister K K Shailaja told reporters that the government has declared the epidemic as a "state calamity" to take all necessary steps to ensure that the outbreak is effectively controlled.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the apex committee of the State Disaster Management Authority chaired by Chief Secretary Tom Jose, she said here, hours after the third positive case in the country was confirmed from the state.
A medical bulletin issued by the government said the health status of all the three students, who tested positive for the virus, was "satisfactory".
Earlier, two students from the state who studied in Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the epidemic, had tested positive for the virus in Thrissur and Alappuzha.
Till date, a total of 2,239 people, who travelled from the novel coronavirus affected countries, including China, have been identified and placed under surveillance in the state, it said.
Of them, as many as 2,155 are under home quarantine and 84 have been admitted to isolation wards in hospitals.
Shailaja said some people who have returned from China were evading the health department.
"What they are doing by not reporting is very dangerous", she said.