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Kerala: All new Covid-19 cases traced to arrivals: Kerala Addl Chief Secy

New Delhi: Covid-19 cases in Kerala went up from 15 on May 4 to 215 on Friday mainly because some people who arrived from West Asia did not reveal symptoms, additional chief secretary Vishwas Mehta told ET.

All the new Covid-19 cases in Kerala have been traced back to people who arrived from abroad or other states, he said. With domestic flights set to resume on Monday, the state which contained the pandemic and won international accolades, is now bracing for a fresh challenge.

Stringent home quarantine, mandatory use of state’s health monitoring app, government vans for transporting people from airports to homes, tracking of people through control rooms and day-to-day checking of returnees are being put in place, Mehta said.

The state administration was motivating health workers to not turn complacent. “Our biggest challenge is to not let fatigue set in as this struggle will go on for a least the next four months. We have to keep the fight till a vaccine is developed.”

For people who will start arrive from Monday, apart from panchayat and ward level committees and community ‘maitri police’, monitoring teams are being roped in to impose home quarantine. “There is peer pressure in Kerala society about the responsibility to not infect anyone, which is why home quarantine works well for us.

At one point, nearly 1.7 lakh people were under surveillance,” he said. According to state government figures till Thursday, 7,085 passengers arrived at Kerala airports from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat, Doha, Maldives, Malaysia, Singapore, Jeddah and London, since May 7, and 3,851 were asked to remain home while 3,234 were under home quarantine.

Fifty-three tested positive for the virus. Of 1,358 people who arrived at ports, six tested positive. Nearly 58,919 people reached via road and 46 were found positive. Of 1,021 people who arrived via special trains, none tested positive.

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