KOZHIKODE: After it became clear that the Thirunelly Covid positive man’s contact list includes tribal people, the Wayanad district administration is laying greater emphasis on the health security of this vulnerable community. Hailing from Panavally in Thirunelly grama panchayat, the 35-year-old is the son-in-law of a truck driver who contracted the virus reportedly from Koyambedu cluster.
The man runs a grocery store-cum-tea shop at Panavalli frequented by tribals. Following contact tracing, 78 people have been included in his list of primary contacts which includes tribals belonging to both high-risk and low-risk categories.“ The focus is on the four colonies -- Thirunelly, Kundara, Kolli, Sarvani and Rasalkunnu --and swabs of 52 inhabitants from these colonies were sent for testing. Nine of them have been admitted to quarantine centre,” said S Soumya, district Covid Surveillance Officer.
According to Adeela Abdulla, Wayanad Collector, police and Junior Health Inspectors will guard the colonies round-the-clock. “No one is allowed to go out of these colonies. Everything will be delivered at their doorstep, with LSG bodies facilitating this,” she said.
338 tribal people
A source said there are 338 tribal residents in the four colonies. Thirty-two of them are over 60 and there are three pregnant women too. The persons listed as high-risk are those who had visited the grocery shop of the Covid patient before May 2.However, the shop owner has stated that he never visited the outlet ever since it became known that his father-in-law is Covid positive.
Between April 29 and May 2, the man shuttled between his in-laws’ place at Mananthavady and the shop since his wife and two kids were at Mananthavady. He tested positive on May 14, days after his entire family had tested positive for the virus. A tribal development department source said there are cancer and sickle cell anaemia patients among the inhabitants of tribal colonies.