A bevy of politicians and senior police officers have been asked to go into quarantine in Thiruvananthapuram after an assistant commissioner of police who had arrested them during a protest have been tested positive for COVID-19.
The politicians who had come into close contact with the ACP include state Youth Congress president Shafi Parambil MLA, vice president K.S. Sabarinathan MLA, BJP state president K. Surendran and V.V. Rajesh. They all had attended various protest marches that took place in the state capital in the previous week.
Several police officers—101 of them—who were part of his team during the arresting of the political leaders have also been asked to go into quarantine. As many as 3,200 cases have been registered against protestors for violating quarantine regulations. Thousands had gathered in the protests and many had resulted in lathi charges and skirmishes between the police and the protestors.
“We have requested all political leaders who had come into direct contact with the ACP to go into quarantine,'” a senior health official told The WEEK.
“If the given indication is anything to go by, at least 5,000 may have become positive in the last one week. This includes both protestors who have gone back to their native places and police officers,'' he said.
According to him, the main reason why the capital city continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the state is the series of protests that happened there.
The said ACP is learnt to have attended a function attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as well. “But as he did not come into close contact with the CM or other guests in the function; they are safe,'' said the official.
The CM also attributed the high number of COVID-19 cases in the capital to the protests. “It is very unfortunate to see that even political leaders give no attention to COVID-19 protocols. Things will go out of hand if the leaders continue to behave like this,'' said CM Vijayan.
Recently, the High Court had asked the state government to take serious steps against those who violate COVID-19 protocols.
The capital city saw no protests on Tuesday after many protestors and cops were tested positive. But there were protests in other districts.
The state, on Tuesday, reported 4,215 fresh cases while 3,007 people turned negative. There was also 19 deaths reported on the day.