Kerala CM, 8 ministers in quarantine after visiting Kozhikode plane crash site

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Malappuram District Collector, Sub-Collector, Assistant Collector, and District Police Chief are among the officials who tested positive for coronavirus

COVID-19 has paralysed Kerala government top brass with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, eight of his cabinet colleagues, assembly speaker, chief secretary, state police chief and many others going into self-quarantine following their visit to the Kozhikode plane crash site.

They opted for self-quarantine after at least 20 officials, including Malappuram district collector and police chief involved in the rescue operations of the Air India Express plane crash tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Though Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had also visited the crash site along with the chief minister, he will not be going for quarantine as he had not come directly in contact with the infected officials.

Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is leading the fight against the pandemic, is among the ministers going into self-quarantine. The other ministers include Minister for Local Self Governments A.C. Moideen, Revenue minister E. Chandrasekaran, industries minister E.P. Jayarajan, Higher Education minister K T Jaleel and Transport minister A K Saseendran, Agriculture Minister Sunil Kumar and Kadannappally Ramachandran.

Speaker K Sivaramakrishan, who accompanied the ministerial team to the crash site, has also opted for quarantine. The development came a day after the Governor convened a new session of the assembly to complete financial business. The session is likely to be stormy with the opposition serving notice for no-confidence against the government as well as the speaker.

The Chief Minister, who was scheduled to hoist the national flag at the Independence Day function in the state capital, has passed the mantle to Cooperation Minister Kadkampally Surendran. The CM’s office said that similar arrangements will also be made for other quarantined ministers, who were scheduled to hoist the flags in their respective districts.  

The absence of many of these ministers from their office comes at a time when Kerala has been witnessing a peak in coronavirus infection. The state reported the highest single day tall of 1569 cases on Friday, April 24. The state also reported 10 deaths on Friday.

A Facebook post of the chief minister said that as many as 1354 of the total cases reported on Friday had contracted the virus through contacts. Out of the total 54 positive cases were among those who came from abroad and 132 from other states.

Most of these ministers were involved in the daily review of the covid situation in the state. The Industries Minister said that the absence of these key ministers will not affect the activities against the pandemic.

Image Credit: Yahoo News

 

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