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Kerala News
Three-year-old child tests positive for coronavirus in Kerala, number of cases rises to 6
 
Thiruvananthapuram: A three-year-old child who returned here from Italy tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, taking the number of those afflicted by the infection in Kerala to six, officials said. The child''s condition is stable, Health minister K K Shailaja said. The fresh case comes a day after three people, also with travel history from Italy, were declared positive along with two of their relatives from Pathanamthitta. With the fresh positive cases being reported from the state, 1,116 people have been placed under surveillance and the state governement on Monday warned that those coming from virus-affected nations should strictly report their arrival to the authorities, failing which cases would be registered against them under the public health act.

Shailaja warned that the government would take stringent action under the Travancore Cochin Medical Public Health act against those violating the health department''s directions to report to authorities if they have come from coronavirus-hit nations. The child and its parents had reached the Cochin International Airport from Italy on March 7. As the child had the virus symptoms, all the three were immediately referred to the isolation ward of the Kalamassery Medical College hospital, officials said. The child''s samples sent for examination at the National Institute of Virology lab have tested positive for coronavirus, they said. The parents'' samples have also been sent for lab test, they added.

Shailaja said a decision on whether to declare the situation as state disaster will be taken after consulting chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Surveillance system will be strengthened with the support of ASHA workers, civic authorities and ward members besides resident associations, Shailaja told reporters here. She said 1,116 people are under watch in the state for coronavirus--967 under home quarantine and 149 in isolation wards of hospitals. Two 90-year-old relatives of the Pathnamthitta family, who tested positive, have been admitted to the Kottayam medical college hospital and their samples sent for testing, she said. In the district, at least 270 people, who are suspected to have had primary contact with the affected persons, have been identified.

Of this, 95 people are in the "high risk" group, she said. At least 449 people have been identified as secondary contact. Despite the six positive cases, the famous ''Attukal Pongala'' festival, one of the largest religious congregations of women,was held with women folk taking part wearing masks. Thousands of women from various parts of the state had come to Thiruvanathapuram to participate in the annual pongala ritual. Schools in Pathnamthitta district have been closed for three days following the detection of the positive cases. People have been advised to keep away from religious and mass gatherings. Marriages should be postpned for at least 15 days, district collector P B Nooh said.

The SSLC, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary examinations will commence in the state from Wednesday in which at least 13 lakh students will be appearing. The minister said those coming from COVID19-affected nations should inform the health officials. Since a majority of the people behaved responsibly, there were no cases after India''s first three positive cases were reported from the state, she said. Besides, all the three were completely cured and discharged from hospitals. Even if there were no symptoms, to ensure that the virus did not spread, those coming from affected countries and those who had come in contact were put under home surveillance for a month and the result was the virus did not spread to anyone else, a release quoting the minister said. "At the same time, some persons are hiding their travel history to COVID-19 affected nations without reporting at airports and health desks.

They are taking medicines on their own to hide their symptoms and violate the health advisory. They are meeting their family members and taking part in public functions," she said. By doing this they endanger not only themselves, but their family members and society. Due to this type of irresponsible behaviour, the government has decided to launch stringent action, the minister said. Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behera warned that stringent action would be taken against those spreading fake news and messages. Directions have been issued to Hi-tech crime inquiry cell, cyber dome, cyber police stations and cyber cells in all districts, he said.

Creating fake news on coronavirus and forwarding them in social media was a punishable offence, a police press release said. Against the backdrop of the virus scare, irrespective of their ranks, all police personnel will be issued face mask and hand sanitisers, it added. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees have been asked to stop using biometric punching henceforth until further orders. Meanwhile, three cases have been registered in the state -- two in Ernakulam and one in Thrissur for posting fake news about the virus in social media. No arrests have been made.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump recommends Americans wear face masks, but says he won't
 Washington, Apr 4 (PTI) President Donald Trump has recommended Americans to cover their faces with s
Indonesia covers up to protect orangutans from virus threat
Bangladesh sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, extends shutdown to Apr 11
US wages all-out war to defeat "horrible" coronavirus: says Trump, as death toll crosses 5,000
NATIONAL NEWS
EC postpones elections to 11 UP Legislative Council seats amid lockdown
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43 more test positive for virus in Mumbai; death toll 19
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