Around 900 people are still under observation in Pathanamthitta after the district administration released a route map identifying places visited by the three-member family from Ranni which returned to Kerala from coronavirus-hit Italy last month, health officials said. Around 16 squads led by the District Collector and the District Medical Officer (DMO) travelled across the the district to identify the places visited by the family and to track the contacts, a senior medical official of the state said.
“A flow chart was prepared with all the places visited by the family upon their return and have been mentioned in a map, so that people can voluntarily inform authorities if they had come in contact with them,” state Health Minister K K Shailaja said.
The Minister told the Assembly on Friday that the patient flow chart was released as the family was not revealing everything to the medical department. The Pathanamthitta DMO told PTI the authorities received hundreds of calls from various places in the district after the travel map of the family was released. “Those who were at the place and time mentioned in the flow chart were asked to contact the health authorities. We have identified around 70 people on the first day itself.
Next day, i.e on Thursday, we identified around 40 people who came in close contact with the Ranni family,” the DMO said. Till Thursday, the health department has kept 896 people under observation in the district. While 862 in Pathanamthitta were kept under home quarantine, 34 persons are lodged in the isolation ward.
A middle-aged couple and their 24-year-old son had reached Cochin International Airport on February 29 and allegedly failed to inform airport authorities about their travel history. The three had tested positive on March 7 along with two of their relatives staying with them in Ranni, their hometown in Pathnamthitta district.
On March 10, six other relatives, including aged parents and friends of the family which returned from Italy, had also tested positive. The map covers the route taken by the family after they landed at Kochi airport till they reached Ranni and various places, including a church, post office, jewellery store, hypermarket, shopping complex and other places they had visited in the following days. There are reports the family had also travelled in a bus.
Meanwhile, Pathnamthitta District Collector P B Nooh had said there was no need to shutdown the places visited by the family and the aim was to track down the last contact of the affected people. The health department will also release such a map to identify those who came in contact with the recent positive patients from Kannur and Thrissur, officials said.