Two Indians, who were among the 363 citizens brought back from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on special flights that reached Kerala on Thursday, tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
“Two foreign returnees have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kerala today, taking total number of active cases to 17 in the state,” the chief minister said, according to ANI. One of the patients is being treated in Kozhikode, while the second is under medical supervision in Kochi, according to NDTV.
On Friday, Vijayan said had said while Kerala had managed to control the spread of the coronavirus, it had to prepare for a fresh wave of cases with the arrival from citizens from abroad. Vijayan had also warned the Centre earlier this week that it would be dangerous to repatriate stranded Indians without testing them for the coronavirus.
Kerala has so far reported 505 cases and three deaths, according to the state government. More than 480 patients have even recovered.
Earlier this week, the Centre had announced that will operate 64 flights during the first week of the massive evacuation plan from May 7 to 13 to bring back citizens from United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Malaysia, Kuwait and Oman. The Indian Navy will also bring back citizens on ships.
The government had prepared a standard operating protocol for the passengers, involving screening for Covid-19 before taking the flight and after reaching the destination. On reaching the destination, the passengers will have to register on the Aarogya Setu app. They will be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned state government. They will be tested for Covid-19 after 14 days.
India has reported 59,662 cases of the coronavirus and 1,981 deaths so far, according to data from the Union health ministry.