KANNUR: Kannur district recorded 26 fresh Covid patients on Tuesday, of whom 23 are Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel staying in a camp at Valiya Velicham near Kuthuparamba. The spread of infection among the personnel, who are in charge of the security at the Kannur airport, has triggered concern among the district authorities and health officials. As many as 51 CISF personnel from the camp have tested positive so far. What’s worrying is that around 2,000 people work in the industrial area where the CISF camp is situated.
However, health officials said they are treating the Valiya Velicham spurt as a “cluster case” – the term used when a high number of infections are reported from a particular location. So, this cannot be considered as transmission through local contacts, they said.Though the district administration has announced the Chittaripparamba panchayat —where Valiya Velicham is located — as a containment zone, the local residents in the region are tensed and apprehensive about the developments.
The CISF has decided to send a senior officer to Kannur to assess the situation.Personnel from Kerala as well as several other states are staying in the camp. Many had returned from their home states after leave and joined duty after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Things do not look bright at Valiya Velicham: Deputy DMO
“Several personnel who had returned from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan have now tested positive. Apart from them, some persons who came from districts like Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam too have tested positive,” said M K Shaj, Deputy DMO.“The sudden spike in positive cases is because of the pending results of the last three days. But, we have to admit that things do not look bright at Valiya Velicham,” he said.
An official said they were helpless and a bit confused. “These people are soldiers and we expect the authorities concerned to be a bit more responsible. The airport authorities said the CISF men’s hostel has quarantine facilities for those coming back from their home states. But, the rise in cases raise questions about the arrangement,” the official said.
According to health department, they are doing everything to prevent a community spread and to contain the spread among the personnel.Kannur airport officials said the CISF personnel contracting the infection won’t affect the functioning of the airport. Chittaripparamba panchayat has asked the district administration to shift the CISF camp from Valiya Velicham to avoid the confusion and unrest among the local residents.