Rise in cases stokes fear of community spread

Incident of two prisoners testing positive in Neyyattinkara sub-jail with no known source of contact worries officials in capital

Published: 30th May 2020 07:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2020 07:29 AM   |  A+A-

Experts: Flouting of social distancing, hygiene norms could contribute to community transmission

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With more cases being detected with no known source of infection, the fear of community spread lingers in Thiruvananthapuram. On Sunday, a Venjaramoodu native tested positive in Poojappura special sub jail with no known source of contact. Nellanad panchayat near Venjaramoodu was declared hotspot as a result.On Friday, two more prisoners tested positive, this time in Neyyattinkara sub jail, hailing from Vamanapuram panchayat and Pulimath panchayat, with source of infection yet to be identified in all cases. Their primary contacts were identified in nearby panchayats, including Pulimath, Karode and Mudakkal. All five of these panchayats have now been declared hotspots. All three prisoners travelled constantly and came in contact with various people. They were active in public places and attended various events.

Interestingly, Venjaramoodu police station also saw change of guard, with C I Vijayaraghavan and 31 police officials going into quarantine first in connection with the first prisoner testing positive. The officer who was in charge of the station later is also now going under quarantine along with others in the station in connection with the recent case. Now, Pangode CI has been given additional charge of Venjaramoodu. Apart from this, over 40 prison officials and several inmates   are under quarantine in connection with the three cases.

“The person from Kalamachal in Vamanapuram was arrested for setting fire to his house and under Abkari Act. He came in contact with the fire force officials from Keezhayikkonam unit in Nellanad. They are also under quarantine. Close to 50 primary contacts were identified from Vamanapuram panchayat alone. Nearby panchayats also have primary contacts. Since Nellanad is already a hotspot, most of the shops here are closed. However, Vamanapuram market was open, which we closed early in the morning.

There need to be strict measures to ensure that the situation here doesn’t get out of control,” said an official. Similarly, the prisoners from Venjaramoodu and Pullampara have a long contact list. In another incident, the patient who tested positive from Pulluvila in Karumkulam panchayat has also caused an uncertainty in the region.

The person who travelled from Delhi had gone to his house in Pulluvila and stayed there for a day before he was moved to an institutional quarantine facility. His family consisting of 10 members have a palliative patient in it and four children, all of whom are quarantined at their residence. .“A list of primary contacts is prepared. We need to track the people who came in contact with primary contacts, but the risk is low,” said a health department official.


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