Number of coronavirus cases in India rises to 39

Number of coronavirus cases in India rises to 39 after 5 more contract virus in Kerala

Factory workers wear masks in the wake of Covid-19 scare in Amritsar on Sunday. PTI

The number of novel coronavirus 2019 positive cases in India rise to 39 on Sunday with the report of five new cases in Kerala that witnessed India's first Covid19 case more than a month ago.

Five relatives, including three of a family, of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala have been tested positive for Covid19 infection.

Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja said a couple and their son who had returned from Italy recently and two of their relatives were found infected. All of them have been kept at Pathanamthitta general hospital isolation ward and are stable.

The fresh cases triggered a scare as the three reached the Malabar state on February 29 via Doha and visited many places including a church, houses of relatives in Pathanamthitta and Kollam districts and a hospital. The trio went to Italy, but didn't disclose the fact at the Kochi airport and skipped the screening.

Even when they visited a private hospital in Pathanamthitta following fever, they did not reveal their travel history.

The health officials came to know about the family after two other relatives whom the family had visited developed symptoms on March 6 and found positive.

“People coming from other countries should show responsibility and get a medical checkup done as they reach India,” Shailaja said.

The Kerala Health Minister said unwillingness to seek medical attention despite having returned from any Covid19 affected regions or having symptoms would be considered as a serious offence. The three were not even cooperating with the health checkup initially.

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Even after the health officials visited the family and found all the three were having symptoms, the family was unwilling to seek treatment. The health officials had to insist them to get hospitalised. The test results of the five were received on Saturday night.

State officials have launched a massive exercise to trace all persons with whom the three came into contact in all these days. All passengers who came by the flights in which the three came were being traced for conducting the tests. About 15 persons, including aged parents of one of the infected individuals, were already kept under home quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry once again clarified that healthy individuals didn't require masks in the backdrop of a mass hysteria on the demand of masks.

With the disease spreading to more than 90 countries infecting one lakh plus cases, the States and Union Territories have been asked to enhance community surveillance. In view of rising cases from France, USA, Spain, it has also been decided to have dedicated aerobridges for these countries in addition to the ones existing for 12 other nations.

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