Thiruvananthapuram: With a three-year-old child testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kerala's Kochi on Monday, the authorities have put the state on high alert as they suspect a few more cases might turn positive.
The total number of positive cases have climbed to six in Kerala.
The child had travelled from Italy along with parents and arrived on March 7. On arrival at the Kochi airport after preliminary checkups was placed under observation.
State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said on Monday that strong action will be taken against those who fail to abide by health advisories that were being issued.
"Things were under control, but when the three from Italy who arrived failed to abide by the rules, things have reached this stage now. Everyone should abide by the rules and those who do not do, will have to face strong action," said Shailaja and added that the condition of all who are positive is under control.
Things had cooled down after the first three cases in the country were reported in January, in Kerala and the health authorities had launched a massive awareness campaign, which gained the confidence of the people and till Sunday, things remained well in control.
Following five cases turning positive yesterday at Pathanamthitta, the health officials managed to track down those who was in touch with the five people, (three who came from Italy last month and two of their relatives) and have asked all such people to remain indoors.
"We have been able to track down and tell them how and what they should do. There need be no reason for any worries," said Pathanamthitta District Collector P.B.Nooh.
All educational institutions in the district have been closed for three days and advisories have gone that it would be better to see that even marriages that have been announced be postponed and in the best interest of all, avoid all gatherings.
Likewise neighbouring Kottayam district is also on an alert as it was a family from here, who had gone to the Kochi airport to collect the three who came from Italy and now quarantined in isolation.
And with the three year old turning positive, Ernakulam district is now on a high alert as authorities have now placed 12 under isolation at various hospitals.
The test results of the child's parents are now awaited and all the three are now placed in isolation at the Kalamassery Medical College at Kochi.
"We have no shortage of essential items that is needed to be given to health care officials. Every aspect has been taken care and there need be no worries," said Ernakulam district collector S.Suhas.
The authorities have also decided to place all those who arrive at the Kochi airport, from Italy under medical observation
In the state capital, the famed Attukal Pongala festival for ladies, began with the health authorities taking stock of things, as advisories have gone to all that anyone suffering from cold should not take part , likewise foreign nationals are also closely monitored.