Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s appreciable efforts at containing the risk of coronavirus spread appeared to take some dents owing to non-compliance by individuals at various levels this week.
Among those criticised for not taking precautionary measures is a doctor at the state’s reputed Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), and state police chief Loknath Behera.
Shockingly, it was also revealed that a youth who had landed in the state from Dubai on March 11 and had been on home quarantine, died in a bike accident, revealing that he had broken quarantine rules.
The news of the doctor and police chief casually breaking norms have triggered sharp criticism on social media besides censure by the opposition Congress party.
The Sree Chitra doctor had visited Spain and has now been declared positive for Covid-19, which means he has put at risk several of his doctor colleagues and other staff at SCTIMST, and affected patient-care activities at the prestigious hospital.
Many senior doctors, including heads of some core departments at the hospital have now gone into self-imposed quarantine.
In a related incident, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and junior federal minister from Kerala, V. Muraleedharan, has also gone into self-isolation, on the ground that he had attended a meeting at SCTIMST.
State police chief Loknath Behera attended a meeting, sitting across a table with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, chief secretary Tom Jose and some senior officials after making a visit to London in the first week of March.
Upset by the state police chief’s behaviour at a time when all those who have been abroad are being exhorted to keep themselves in self-isolation, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullapally Ramachandran asked the state government to clarify whether the police chief was in quarantine or not.
“Over 10,000 people in London are suspected to have contracted the disease, of whom around 800 tested positive. Even the health minister of the UK tested positive. So it is mandatory to screen the DGP,” Ramachandran suggested. Some tourists from the UK in Kerala have also reportedly tested positive for the virus.
In Thrissur district, the youth who arrived from Dubai on March 11 and was in home quarantine under observation for Covid-19, and his friend met with a bike accident on Saturday.
His friend died on the spot and the youth died at a hospital on Monday while under treatment for injuries. The body will be handed over to the family after a post-mortem, which will be conducted after his Covid-19 test results are received.