Idukki’s latest scare: A COVID positive man with 1,000+ on contact list

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IDUKKI: Idukki did not report any fresh Covid-19 case for 17 days, but the district’s health officials have a hectic task on hand suddenly after more than 1,000 people were found on the contact list of the Puttady-based bakery owner, who was diagnosed with the infection on Thursday after a random test.

Adding to the worry, the man had been in his bakery until 3pm on Thursday, a few hours before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the day’s list of positive cases in the state. As instructed by District Medical Officer (DMO) N Priya, health officials at the Community Health Centre in Puttady have started preparing the 39-year-old’s contact list, including those who spent more than five minutes at the bakery till Thursday evening.

The baker, a resident of Karunapuram near Nedumkandam, was found infected in the sentinel surveillance test done on the 10 people who had possibly come into contact with interstate truck drivers. Another Puttady resident had tested positive earlier, but he has no contact history with the bakery owner.
The health authorities believe that he might have contracted the virus from interstate truck drivers who visited his bakery.

The person is currently in the isolation ward of the district hospital in Thodupuzha. DMO Priya said the department expects the bakery owner’s number of contacts to go up. “Our officials are preparing the list with the help of local people and civic bodies,” she said. His family members — wife and two children, aged five and nine — have been isolated at home. “Presently, they’re asymptomatic,” she said. The development has shocked the residents, who have been awaiting more relaxations after the district was listed in the orange zone as there had been no fresh cases for nearly three weeks. Twenty-four patients had recovered in the district, with the last patient leaving the hospital on May 9.

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