Thiruvananthapuram: A couple from the United States who had symptoms linked to coronavirus were traced to Kochi international airport and put under isolation after they fled the Alappuzha Medical College.
The couple, US citizens who live in London, reached Kochi on March 9 and stayed at a resort in Varkala. Their flight was from London to Doha and then Kochi. The couple also used private taxis to commute.
However, when they developed symptoms of viral, they arrived at the hospital. The couple was told they would have to undergo a test for coronavirus but they managed to give the staff the slip.
They were finally traced to the airport and have now been put under isolation.
Three more people, including an Italian national, tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
With the three fresh cases, the number of affected people in the state has touched 19, he told reporters here.
At least 5,468 people are under surveillance in the state, Vijayan said, adding that 277 have been lodged in isolation wards at various hospitals across the state.
The chief minister also said 1,715 samples have been sent for testing of which 1,132 turned out to be negative.
Vijayan said local self-governments were taking effective preventive measures to fight the coronanvirus threat.
"The state government has been engaged in inspecting the foreigners staying in homestays, hotels and resorts in the state and ensuring that they are not infected," the chief minister said.
The state has also initiated steps to monitor everyone who reaches the state through airports and the government has held discussions with airport authorities.
The state's entry point will also be monitored by health department officials and they will be assisted by police officials also, Vijayan said.