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Nearly a year after outbreak in India, COVID-19 cases shoot up in Lakshadweep islands

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Kochi, Jan 19: The number of COVID-19 cases soared to 14 in Lakshadweep islands, which remained insulated from the attack of deadly virus till Monday, since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country nearly a year ago.

Nearly a year after outbreak in India, COVID-19 cases shoot up in Lakshadweep islands

A day after the first coronavirus case was reported in the islands, official sources said 13 people, who were his primary contacts, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, taking the test positivity rate to 42.4 per cent.

The man belonging to the India Reserve Battalion (IRB), had left for Kavaratti by ship from Kochi on 3 January and tested positive on Monday, official sources said.

He had reached the islands on January 4.

Sources said his 31 primary contacts were traced and tested of which 13 were infected. All of the positive people belonged to IRB, they said.

While four of them are having symptoms, the remaining are asymptomatic. The authorities have started tracing and isolating their primary and secondary contacts.

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The IRB cook, who is the first COVID-19 case in islands, was admitted to a COVID hospital in Kavaratti.

The case was reported two weeks after the Lakshadweep administration revised Standard Operating Procedures by doing away with mandatory quarantine guidelines for those arriving from Kochi.

Till Monday, the islands had not reported a single positive COVID-19 case. Taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, the administration had directed all those who had come in contact with him to go on quarantine, they said.

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    According to sources, risk communication activities started and disinfection process are on. The administration also suspended all the inter island movements, including ships from Tuesday.

    In a communication, the administration had said anyone can now visit the islands from the mainland with a negative test report of RT-PCR obtained 48 hours before travel.

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