Twenty two officials, including the district collector, assistant collector and the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Kerala's Malappuram district, who were part of the Air India Express rescue operations at the Calicut International Airport last week, have tested positive for coronavirus.
All the officers, including Malappuram Collector K. Gopalakrishnan and SP U. Abdul Karim, were on quarantine following their rescue efforts. They have been under observation for COVID-19 since the rescue operations were completed on Friday. Both Karim and Gopalakrishnan are in hospital and undergoing treatment for the disease.
Following the accident, the Kerala health ministry had urged all those involved in relief operations to go into quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus. Kondotty, where the airport is located, is a containment zone with a high Covid-19 positivity rate.
However, the contact list of the top administrative officials may also include the VVIPs who visited the accident spot at the airport last Friday and Saturday. However, official confirmation of the contact lists of the administrative officials is yet to come.
According to media reports, Gopalakrishnan is asymptomatic and his health condition is stable. The district medical officer's team is undertaking risk assessment, reported NDTV.
The Air India Express plane came with 184 passengers from Dubai under the centre's Vande Bharat Mission that expatriates Indians stranded abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who took part in the rescue operations were asked to go in quarantine after two samples – one of an injured and another of a deceased—had turned positive.