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Saturday, June 06, 2020

Why Kerala government is considering revealing names of patients

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the new coronavirus cases reported on Friday had contacted several persons and visited many places and therefore, the government is thinking about publicising their names.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapura | Updated: March 28, 2020 10:10:41 am
kerala lockdown An otherwise busy junction in Kochi under the lockdown. (Photos: iemalayalam.com)

On a day Kerala reported 39 fresh COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is thinking about revealing the names of the patients. He said the new cases reported on Friday had contacted several persons and visited many places and therefore, the government is thinking about publicising their names.

Without taking any name, the Chief Minister said, “This social worker had travelled from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram. The details of his travel are astounding. He had mingled with several persons working in different walks of life. He had even shared the pictures in social media. Is this the manner in which a social worker should behave? This is a warning to all of us that coronavirus is not far away from us.’’

Later in the day, A P Usman, a Congress leader from Idukki district who has tested positive for COVID-19, issued a statement. “As a public activist, I mingled with several persons and travelled a lot. Those who have met me or mingled with me after February 29 should contact health workers. I don’t remember all of them. On many days, I travelled up to 200 km,’’ said the statement by Usman, also a trade union leader.

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The route map of Usman, released by the health department, begins with a dharna he attended in front of the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on February 29. Till March 20, he went to several districts, travelled in public transport buses, stayed in hotels and visited mosques and hospitals.

However, Usman has no recent foreign travel history.

The Chief Minister’s statement that the state government was considering publicising the names of those who have tested positive comes after several persons placed under home quarantine were found violating isolation guidelines and moving freely in public places.

The state health department has already started putting up stickers outside the houses of those under observation. The stickers have the name and address of the person under observation. They also mention the observation period, dos and don’ts during the period and the number of family members.

In Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta districts, this exercise has already started.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?

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