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Sunday 31 May 2020

Kasaragod importing COVID from Dubai, infecting Kannur

The travel history and meetings of coronavirus patients from Naif have put people in Kasaragod and neighbouring Kannur at great risk

Most of the coronavirus cases in Kerala ― Kasaragod in particular ― are related to the Gulf region and particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On Tuesday, 14 fresh coronavirus cases were reported in Kerala. According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, eight out of the 14 cases were related to Dubai. On Monday, he had said that out of the 30 fresh cases reported in Kerala, 27 were from Dubai.

On Sunday, 19 cases had been registered and nine of them were from Dubai.

As of Tuesday evening, 105 coronavirus cases had been reported in Kerala.

“Keralites, especially those from Kasaragod, are concentrated in the Deira Naif region. They mainly run small textile businesses. They live in cheek-by-jowl tenements. We suspect that infection has spread among them. This could be the reason that all those traveling from Naif to Kasaragod are going to test COVID-positive,” an Indian social worker in Dubai told Sirf News.

Naif is a locality in Deira side of Dubai, the UAE. It is a commercial and residential locality. Considering the nearby localities, Naif is larger in size. It is one of the oldest localities. The residents of this locality are mainly south Asians.

On 20 March, Kasaragod District Collector Dr D Sajith Babu had referred those coming from Naif to the local health centre urgently.

“Many Kasaragod natives work in Naif. Some of them have returned home. Those who return after 20 February should get themselves medically examined at the local primary health centres,” a Keralite said while talking over the phone from Dubai. “The situation that is unfolding is quite frightening.”

This caller knows his friend Amer who came from Dubai to the Ariyal village near Palliara in Kasaragod on 11 March. They were found to be COVID-positive on 19 March and were quarantined.

In the interim eight days Amer had participated in wedding functions and football tournaments. He had hugged and shook hands with two MLAs. These MLAs are now quarantined too.

The travel history and meetings of Amer have put many people in Kasaragod and its neighbouring district of Kannur at great risk.

“There were 10 people in Amer’s room. Over the next few days, many of his friends had moved to Kasaragod. Some went straight home and others reported properly at the airport and were admitted to hospitals. Those who went home at the airport fooling the medics have infected their relatives and neighbors, ”said a resident of the district.

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