Kasaragod braces for local transmission, converts university hostels as observation facility

Dist administration converts hostels of Central University of Kerala into observation centres
Representative image (Photo | Shriram BN, EPS)
Representative image (Photo | Shriram BN, EPS)

KASARGOD: The district administration is bracing for a local outbreak of Covid-19 by taking over all the six hostels of the Central University of Kerala (CUK). District Collector D Sajith Babu took over the hostels -- with around 1,500 rooms -- and directed the district medical officer to convert them into observation facility to house suspected Covid cases.

The university will also have a virology lab where 87 samples can be tested daily for the lethal virus. The decision came on Friday even as 34 persons tested Covid positive. With this, there are 81 confirmed Covid cases in the district, which add up to nearly half of all the positive cases reported in the state.

Health officials said the rise in numbers was on expected lines. But there is no evidence of a community transmission having occurred here as yet.

Of the 34 patients, 23 came from Dubai and 11 are their primary contacts, they said. As of now, the district has 66 imported cases, all from the UAE, and the rest of the 15 patients are their primary contacts.
“These are people who had begun to arrive from the UAE on March 1 in the wake of the Covid outbreak at Naif in Dubai. So we expected them to test positive,” said a health official.

These positive cases could rise up to 200 in the next three days, when the quarantine period for many is scheduled to end. “We expect the number of positive cases to drop from April 1. If that does not happen, we will be in trouble,” he said.Already 5,957 persons are being quarantined and monitored in the district, he said.To be sure, no new person is arriving from abroad now.

‘Cooperate with government’

Inspector-General Vijay Sakhare has asked the people in quarantine to cooperate with the government. “Those who flout the rules of quarantine will be shifted to the observation facilities of the government. We have already shifted many to the facilities,” he said. The officer said people had become accustomed to the lockdown and instances of those defying the lockdown have come down. Both the police and the health officials are keeping  people on a tight leash.

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