Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
One of the infected individuals returned from Abu Dhabi and the other from Dubai. They were flown out in special Air India flights as part of the Vande Bharat Mission for evacuating Indians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The infected persons were among the 363 people who arrived from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on May 7. While one of them is receiving treatment in Kozhikode, the other is being treated in Kochi.
"Two foreign returnees have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala today, taking the number of active cases to 17 in the state," CM Vijayan was quoted as saying by ANI.
Vande Bharat Mission is a repatriation operation launched by the government to bring back Indians stuck in various countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of its 7-day-long first phase, the Centre plans to repatriate around 15,000 Indians to the country from May 7-13.
After the two repatriates from the UAE tested positive for coronavirus, the total number of cases in Kerala rose to 505 on Saturday. The state currently has 17 active cases.
Meanwhile, one COVID-19 patient from Idukki who was undergoing treatment for the infection has tested negative. With this, the number of recoveries in Kerala has reached 485.
CM Vijayan, on Friday, also said that Kerala had so far been successful in containing the spread of coronavirus.
However, he cautioned that the state must be prepared for a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections as hundreds of repatriated Indians would be arriving in Kerala.
As on Saturday, the southern state has conducted tests on 36,648 samples of which 36,002 returned negative.
"It has been 100 days since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Kerala... We could contain the spread at that stage. The second phase started in (first week of) March. Today, after two months, we have managed to flatten the curve," CM Vijayan said.
CM Vijayan stated, "Our (Kerala's) recovery rate is comparable to the highest in the world. We are doing everything to avoid a third phase but we are prepared for any situation."
Cautioning people to be "more careful...given the expected return of thousands of Kerala residents stranded abroad, he added, "If the number of...patients rises, 27 hospitals will be turned fully into COVID-19 care hospitals."
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