Kerala family faces threats for 'spreading' COVID-19

Kerala family faces threats for 'spreading' coronavirus

Many accused that the family skipped the COVID-19 screening in order to enjoy holidays in Kerala

Visitors wear protective masks outside the Special Isolation Ward set up to provide treatment to novel coronavirus patients at Kochi Medical college, in Kochi, Monday, March 9, 2020. (PTI Photo)

With at least eight persons in Kerala already contracting coronavirus from a three-member family that allegedly skipped medical screening at airport by hiding the fact that they returned from Italy, social media in flooded with memes and messages accusing the family of spreading the virus and triggering a scare across the state; especially Pathanamthitta district where hundreds of people are kept in surveillance for having come in contact with the family.

With some of the messages having a threatening tone, the police are also maintaining a vigil against any safety issue to the three member family comprising a couple and their son who are now under isolation in Pathanamthitta government hospital. Pathanamthitta district police chief K G Simon told DH that the police are trying to trace source of some of the offensive messages even as no specific complaints were received.

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Many accused that the family skipped the COVID-19 screening in order to enjoy holidays in Kerala and thereby, causing threat to hundreds of people. Audio messages, some even in female voice, abusing the family using derogatory words and making a call for roughing up the family were also doing the rounds on the social media.

The eight got infected from the family, including the aged parents of one of them, four other close relatives and two neighbours.

Though one of the family members, who came from Italy via Doha in February 29, denied the allegation that they deliberately concealed the fact that they came from Italy, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the family for skipping the screening.


Sources said that the government is also seriously considering legal action against the family once they come out of the virus infection.

Meanwhile, the opposition party in Kerala, Congress accused the government of lapses in the screening at the airport.