Dubai national, doctor test positive in Kerala

Dubai national, doctor test positive in Kerala; total tally in the state rises to 21

Representative photo. (iStock image)

A British national tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala made a bid to fly to Dubai from Kochi on Sunday despite being kept on isolation. A doctor was also tested positive for Coronavirus in Kerala on Sunday taking the number of positive cases at present in the state to 21.

Government sources said that the British national and his wife were stopped at the Nedumbasserry International Airport in Kochi just before they were about to fly and were shifted to a government hospital isolation ward. Seventeen others with them were shifted to a hotel room and kept under isolation. A probe was also on to find how the tourists managed to reach the airport from a resort at Munnar high-range tourist spot in Idukki district, about 120 kilometres from Kochi.

Also Read: All passengers offloaded at Kochi airport after UK national on the flight tests positive for coronavirus

He reportedly reached Kochi on March 8 and visited Thrissur and reached Munnar on March 10. He was subjected to the screening on March 12 and since then was directed to be on isolation at the resort run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which is under the Kerala government.

On Saturday evening also health officials visited him at the resort and reviewed his condition. His specimen test result was received by late on Saturday night and when the medical team went to the resort by Sunday wee hours to shift him to hospital isolation, he was found missing.

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On enquiry, the hotel authorities stated that the British national along with his wife and other members of a group of tourists were forcefully taken from the resort by their tour operator as they had already booked their return tickets on a Dubai bound flight on Sunday early morning.

Government officials in Kochi were immediately alerted and they stopped the COVID-19 infected and his wife at the airport. The two were immediately shifted to a government hospital isolation ward and 17 others accompanying them were shifted to a hotel for isolation. All the 270 odd passengers in the flight were screened and allowed to fly. The airport premises were also disinfected.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed the Idukki district collector to probe how the foreign tourist managed to flee from the hotel. There were allegations that he was allowed to go following pressure from higher-ups.

Meanwhile, a doctor who recently returned after studies in Dubai was also tested positive. He was learned to be a native of Thiruvananthapuram.

As many as 10,655 persons are currently kept under home isolation in Kerala and 289 under hospital observation.

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