India News

Five more test positive for coronavirus in Kerala; total number rises to 39 in India

Thiruvananthapuram Five more people from Kerala, three with recent travel history to Italy, have tested positive for coronavirus, following which the state has been put on high alert, Health Minister K K Shailaja said here on Sunday.

The three, a couple and their son, had evaded health screening at the airport on their return about a week ago and all the five hail from Ranni in Pathnamthitta district, she said.

“As of now their condition is stable. But there is need to take extra care”, the minister said.

The fresh cases have been reported days after the southern state had successfully treated India’s first three coronavirus patients—medical students from Wuhan—and discharged them from hospitals.

Their home quarantine period is also over.

While the three, a couple in their fifties and their 24-year old son, had taken a flight from Italy to India on February 29, two others affected are their relatives, the minister said.

As a matter of abundant caution, two nonagenerian members of the family will be shifted to the Kottayam Medical College hospital, she added.

The three, who had returned from Venice, had not informed authorities that they had come back from Italy.

When two of their relatives had sought treatment at private and taluk hospitals with virus symptoms, the health authorities came to know about the travel history of the people who returned to Italy.

They had evaded screening at the airport and were reluctant to get admitted at the hospital initially, she said, adding that they had at first refused to cooperate with health officials and were forcefully admitted to the isolation ward of the Pathnamathitta general hospital and are under observation.