PALAKKAD: Being the border district and gateway to the state by rail and road, Palakkad is staring at the possibility of community spread of Covid-19, which calls for spreading awareness among the people, AK Balan, Minister for Welfare of SC, ST and Backward Classes, Law, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs, has said. Speaking after a review meeting of the presidents of local bodies here on Monday, Balan said as public transport has resumed, the chances of local transmission are high. “In four days, there has been an increase of 32 positive cases in the district, which showed that there is the danger of community transmission,” he said.
“The fact that some health workers have contracted the virus points to the possibility of local transmission. Around 95 per cent of those who arrived in Kerala from other states had come through Palakkad district,” he added. Most of the people who came to the state from outside were asymptomatic. Even the small time spent to record the temperature of persons arriving through the Walayar checkpost has resulted in the transmission of Covid-19 to a health worker, he said.
The restrictions imposed in the state in the first and second phases cannot be imposed in the same manner in the third phase. “The public should themselves understand the ground situation and take the necessary precautions and cooperate with the government. Many persons under home quarantine are violating the conditions. The panchayat-level committees should intervene effectively and strengthen monitoring of those under home quarantine.”
In the case of expatriates, there is an effective observation system, but not in the case of those arriving from other states. “If the persons coming from other states do not comply with the regulations and directions of the health department on their own, Palakkad will become the first district to report community spread,” he warned.