23 AI crash rescue op members test +ve
In a statement, Vijayan’s office said the chief minister will be unable to unfurl the Tricolour on Independence Day on Saturday and tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran will preside over the ceremony in his place.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 00:09 IST
: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his seven ministerial colleagues on Friday self-quarantined themselves after 23 state government officials, who were part of the rescue operation after a plane overshot the runway in heavy rain near Kozhikode last week, were tested Covid-19 positive. Vijayan, governor Arif Mohammad Khan were among those who visited Kozhikkode after the accident claimed 18 lives.
Governor is yet to announce his decision.
In a statement, Vijayan’s office said the chief minister will be unable to unfurl the Tricolour on Independence Day on Saturday and tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran will preside over the ceremony in his place.
Malappuram district collector K Gopalakrishnan and police superintendent U Abdul Kareem are among the 23 tested positive for the disease. They supervised the rescue work with local people on Friday last.
Health minister K K Shaialaj and police chief Loknath Behra are among others who have self-quarantined themselves. Some district officials were put under quarantine after some of those injured in the accident tested positive for Covid-19.
“Some symptoms were there since yesterday and later it was confirmed positive. This is part of our job. I am relieved we could limit the death toll to 18,” said Gopalakrishnan, who reached the spot in 20 minutes and took command of the rescue work.
The Central Industrial Security Force earlier on August 11 asked its personnel, who were part of the rescue operation, to go into quarantine. Kondotty, where the airport is situated, was a containment zone when the accident took place. Several residents rushed to the scene to help in the rescue work. Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Air India have lauded their efforts.
Kerala reported 1,569 new Covid-19 cases and 10 deaths on Friday, which took the toll from the disease to 140. The state’s infection tally has gone up to 41, 246.
Shailalja has said the cases were likely to peak by next month and experts have warned daily cases will go up to 15,000. Kerala was the first to report a Covid-19 case in the country in January.