Live normal but take precautions, says Kerala CM amid Covid-19



Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that normal life should go on, but there should be a sense of caution also among people and they should see protocols are followed to tackle the coronavirus breakout.

State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, meanwhile, told the media on Sunday evening that a British national and a medical professional who returned from abroad after attending a course have tested positive for the disease, taking the total cases in the state to 21.

"Today there are 10,655 people under observation in homes, while 289 of them are in hospitals in the state," she said, adding that all of those who are positive are stable and there is no need for any concern.

In a statement issued after the daily high level review meeting on Sunday, Vijayan directed the tourism industry to see that they provide a list of all foreign tourists presently residing in the state to the respective district authorities.

"If any of the tourists are subjected to tests, then they should be allowed to proceed only after the final results come," he said.

According to the latest figures there are 5,150 foreign tourists presently in the state.

Vijayan's appeal came up following a goof up, when on Sunday, the state-owned plush Tea County resort at Munnar in Idukki district was ordered to be closed down by district authorities after a British tourist who stayed there turned coronavirus positive.

He was in a group of 19 people who arrived from Italy early this month and was there at the resort from March 7.

The decision to close down the resort was taken soon after the State Electricity Minister M.M. Mani, who hails from the district, held a high level meeting.

Things went haywire when a group of foreign tourists including the coronavirus positive British national were stopped from flying to Dubai at the Cochin airport on Sunday.

Following this the flight was kept at the runway and after the health authorities conducted a complete health check up of the other passengers, it left for Dubai at 12.50 p.m. - without the entire 19 member tour party.

Vijayan also said that he has instructed all concerned to see that shops, malls and other business establishments should be allowed to function.

"The general transport system should be in operation for the people to move about. There should be no standstill status and people should ensure that normal life goes on, but there should be a caution," he added.

Following the Idukki case, the district authorities ordered that there should be no fresh bookings of tourists in the district till March 31, but allowed all the tourists who are booked to remain.

Meanwhile, churches across the state saw a poor turnout, while in some churches, the routine Sunday holy mass was cancelled.

At Venjaramoodu, on the outskirts of the state capital, a cooperative bank election that was held was cancelled after a few hours when it came to the notice that this was against the protocols of the state government.

Meanwhile at Thrissur, a group of 11 medical students who arrived from Karnataka where the first coronavirus death took place has been isolated.

Expressing their concern, the youth wings of the CPI-M, Congress and the BJP took to donating blood across the state. IANS

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