KASARAGOD: The CPM leader who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday has been booked for withholding information that he had come in contact with a high-risk person from Mumbai and exposing many others to the virus. Kasaragod DySP Balakrishnan said Manjeshwar police charged him with violating quarantine rules under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
On Thursday, he and his wife, a member of Paivalige panchayat, and their two sons, aged 11 and 8 years, tested positive for Covid-19. On May 4, the couple picked and dropped home their relative who arrived from Mumbai without a travel permit. The relative tested positive on May 11. Between May 4 and 11, the CPM leader brought a cancer patient to District Hospital, and visited the lab, cancer ward, met a nurse, and ENT specialists.
He also attended a wedding, a funeral, and a cradle ceremony. District Medical Officer Dr A V Ramdas said 50 persons, who came in contact with the couple, have been quarantined and their samples taken for testing. Meanwhile, the cancer patient who was taken to the District Hospital on May 5 has tested negative for Covid-19, said the DMO. A radiologist of the hospital has tested positive. The DMO said 17 health workers, including two doctors and nurses, are in quarantine. Another nurse in General Hospital has also tested positive.
“The hospital staff and health workers will always be vulnerable if patients and caregivers do not make full disclosure about their contacts with high-risk persons,” said district surveillance officer Dr A T Manoj.
As a fallout, collector D Sajith Babu said access to hospitals would be regulated and unnecessary visits should be avoided. Patients would be examined adhering to the safety measures, he said. In a bid to build social pressure, the collector said if anyone jumped quarantine, the entire locality would be declared as a hotspot and sealed off. He asked the public to ensure those in quarantine stayed in their rooms. The BJP, meanwhile, demanded strict action against the CPM leader for violating the protocol in dealing with Keralites arriving from high-risk regions.
CPM MLA told to go on quarantine
Palakkad DMO K P Reetha has asked Nenmara MLA K Babu, of CPM, to go on quarantine for being present at a function held at a primary health centre at Muthalamada to rehabilitate a couple in which the Muthalamada patient was also present.