With more people contracting COVID-19 through contact in Kannur, the district administration and the Health Department are on high alert to prevent a possible community spread of the disease.
On Thursday, following the directive of District Collector T.V. Subhash, all shops and establishments were forcibly closed down and traffic was diverted by the police in Kannur town and three other divisions within the Kannur Corporation limits in the wake of a 14-year-old child contracting the disease.
The death of Excise Department driver Sunil Kumar, who was infected through contact and later died in Kannur Government Medical College Hospital, further forced health officials to press the panic button.
Health officials are yet to identify from whom the child and Sunil Kumar contracted the virus. Similarly, officials had failed to trace possible sources through which a pregnant tribal woman from Ayankunnu and two remand prisoners were infected last month.
Adding to their woes is another COVID-19 patient who visited Kannur town recently to purchase things from various shops. Several KSRTC employees were asked to go into quarantine after an infected driver visited depots before his test result came out.
According to the Health Department, 63 persons tested positive for the disease after coming in contact with the patient so far.
“People venturing out of their homes unnecessarily and not taking enough precautionary measures after the government relaxed lockdown norms have increased the risk of the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” said K. Narayana Nayak, District Medical Officer.
“In most cases, sources were identified. But there are chances that a few affected patients, who may not have initially shown symptoms, could spread the disease. Unless people take the responsibility and follow preventive measures, there is every possibility of a community spread,” he added.