New Delhi: A team of health workers, including a doctor, were on Friday attacked by locals in Poonthura suburb of Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, where they had gone to collect swab samples after a spurt in COVID positive cases in recent days. Also Read - Kerala Lockdown Extension: Close to Community Spread, Thiruvananthapuram Lockdown Extended For a Week, Triple Lockdown in Containment Zones
The team was forced by agitating locals to lower the windows of their car. The locals then allegedly spat at those sitting inside the car, news agency PTI quoted Indian Medical Association (IMA) sources as saying. The sources further told PTI that all four health workers have been directed to go into quarantine. Also Read - No More Sunday Lockdown in Kerala With 114 Hotspots? Know Why Pinarayi Vijayan Took The Decision
Notably, earlier this week, Kerala confirmed its first COVID-19 ‘super spreader’-a fisherman from Poonthura. After this, the state government imposed severe restrictions in the village at a time when Thiruvanathapuram is already under ‘triple lockdown’ since July 6. Also Read - Rise in Cases Expected, Says Pinarayi Vijayan as Kerala Sees Highest Single-Day Spike, 14-Day Quarantine Must For Air Travellers
The triple lockdown was to be in effect for a week but was, on Friday, extended by one more week.
However, on Friday, locals gathered in large numbers despite the triple lockdown. They were allegedly upset about the restrictions as they were not allowed to move out even to buy minimal supplies and also alleged that there were instances of doctors refusing to treat them, asking them to stay away.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister KK Shailaja have condemned the attack on health workers.
On Friday, Kerala reported its highest-ever spike of 416, taking the total number of positive cases reported thus far in the state to 6,534. Of these 416 new cases, 129 were from Thiruvananthapuram alone, of which 122 were through local contacts.