T’PURAM/KOCHI: The authorities in the two busiest cities in the state — Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam — are scrambling to contain a possible escalation of the coronavirus outbreak. A rise in the number of cases with unknown sources of infection and fears of a quick spread have put the urban areas under the threat of community transmission.Out of the nine new cases reported in Thiruvananthapuram, four are of local transmission.
In Kochi, the situation indicated a fast spread from a case first detected at the Ernakulam market. Having infected three persons working at an electrical shop in the market, the coronavirus has spread to more people in other areas, forcing the district administration to announce stern measures. It is now compulsory for public transport drivers to wear masks while bus conductors must wear face shield and gloves too. These steps were announced after three of the fresh cases in Ernakulam turned out to be immediate contacts of Covid-19 positive persons at the electrical shop. A total of 191 people are currently under treatment for the disease in Ernakulam.
Minister V S Sunil Kumar, who is coordinating the Covid-related activities in Ernakulam, warned people of stern steps if quarantine rules are violated. “It’s advised that no one should step out in the city unless for emergency purposes,” he told reporters. Sunil Kumar, however, ruled out local transmission in the district, but added that 66 persons -- who have interacted or come in contact with the Covid patients from Ernakulam market -- have been put under observation. Other steps taken in Ernakulam include daily disinfection of vehicles and strict enforcement of passenger seat ratio.
Thiruvananthapuram Mayor K Sreekumar said tight vigil will be enforced in the state capital in the wake of the rising number of cases with unknown sources of the virus. Strict regulations will be enforced in the Palayam market too, he said.