The fight against Coronavirus has passed into the next stage in Kerala, with the increasing number of positive cases forcing the authorities to stop preparing route maps.
Health authorities said the state can no longer afford to dedicate dozens of department officials to track down and trace the paths of each coronavirus victim.
The decision came after the state recorded the highest single-day addition to its COVID-19 positive tally at 19 fresh cases on Sunday.
UPDATE: Some district administrations have continued to issue route maps in many cases as the number of new cases have remained under control due to the stoppage of international flights.
Most of these cases are people who have returned from foreign countries, mostly from the Middle East.
With this, a total of 54 positive cases have been reported in the state.
Kerala Government had won praise for its aggressive tracking and tracing of contacts for each and everyone of the positive Coronavirus cases in the state.
However, each patient requires several teams of officers for contact tracing and mapping the routes in which they traveled after reaching Kerala.
With a rising number of Coronavirus cases being reported from across the country and emergency provisions being put in place, Kerala government has decided that it can no longer divert a huge number of officials to such activities.
Even as contact tracing will continue — including the movement of such contacts to quarantines or isolation facilities — preparing route maps will not.
Route maps are published in mass media so that people in general can get an idea of where the infected person has been at what time — and if they too were in that area — get themselves tested.
A new hotspot has emerged in Kasargode district, adjoining the boundary with Karnataka. Most of the 19 new cases detected on Sunday are from the district.
In this district, the state administration has put in strict regulations on the movement of people and shops are allowed to stay open only from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Most of the other establishments have been shut.
The situation in Kasargode district deteriorated after a local person made a trip to the Gulf, escaped the screening process at Calicut airport on his way back and attended a string of weddings, events and other functions.
According to the government, the man has refused to come out with the precise details of when and where he has been since he touched down in Kerala.
Meanwhile, Kerala government said it will not shut down seven out of the 14 districts totally as directed by the center. Instead, it will continue to put in more and more restrictions as and when data comes in about infections.
The Center yesterday asked all state governments to shut down all districts where COVID-19 cases have been detected.
All the COVID-19 cases reported in Kerala have been traced to people who came from outside or those who interacted with them. Around 7 or 8 foreign tourists are also among those who are being treated for Coronavirus in the state.