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Kerala man tests COVID-19 positive on 29th day of isolation, health experts baffled

The infected was one of the two brothers to return to their house at Edachery in Kozhikode from Dubai and go straight into quarantine.

Published: 18th April 2020 12:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2020 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

Is 28-day quarantine enough to check COVID-19 transmission? No, shows the case of an asymptomatic Dubai returnee, who tested positive on the 29th day on Thursday.

The rare case has left the health officials perplexed. The infected was one of the two brothers to return to their house at Edachery in Kozhikode from Dubai and go straight into quarantine. Their 67-year-old father was admitted to a private hospital for age-related illness, but his swab samples were tested as instructed by the medical board before he was discharged from a private hospital on April 10.

He was the first to test positive, on April 11. Following that, all his family members were shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital. Besides him, his wife, grandchild and one of the two sons tested positive subsequently. The detection of the infection in the other son on the 29th day has made the medical experts wonder how effective is the swab sample test, as the man who got infected on Thursday had tested negative in the initial test.

District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr V Jayasree said the Edachery case is rare, but it calls for more study on the mode of virus spread. “It’s learnt that the viral infection may happen even after 28-day isolation period. Further, the incident proved that a person who tested negative in the initial test may turn positive
later,” said the DMO.

“In the aftermath of the Edachery case, it has been decided to keep all Gulf returnees and other suspected
persons under home quarantine for one week in addition as a precautionary step. It’s required to prevent possible community spread,” said the DMO. Health officials have decided to initiate a second-round test for all persons who tested negative initially

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