After successfully dodging Covid-19 for one and a half years as the pandemic tore through the rest of the world, a remote tribal panchayat of Edamalakkudi in Kerala’s Ernakulam district has now fallen prey to the deadly virus. Two villagers are currently under treatment for the virus.
A 40-year-old woman from Iruppakallu village and a 24-year-old man from Idalippara village in the Edamalakkudi Panchayat have been infected. One is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Munnar and the other is at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
The source of the virus for both persons is yet to be confirmed.
For the past one and a half years, not a single case of Covid-19 was reported from this panchayat in Idukki, nearly 100 kilometres away from Kochi. Incidentally, both the cases were reported 16 days after the controversial visit of Vlogger Sujith Bhaktan’s trip to this remote village with Idukki MP Dean Kuriakose, allegedly without proper permission.
Edamalakkudi has been in self-quarantine since the first lockdown and anyone who goes to the nearest town to buy necessities has to stay in quarantine for 14 days and outsiders were denied entry.
Except for people’s representatives, no one was allowed to visit the tribal Panchayat, without the permission of the forest department.
A meeting of the district health department was held and it has been decided to take severe measures to prevent the spread of Covid in the panchayat. The district administration is in the process of deploying a special medical team in Edamalakkudi before the virus spreads.
The CPM, among others, had accused the MP of gathering on June 27, a Sunday, the day of the complete lockdown, to inaugurate the renovation of the tribal school. Edamalakkudi was the only panchayat in the state to have regular classes, at the Government Tribal LP School there. It became a controversy after the photos of Idukki MP and the vlogger in Edamalakkudi, bordering Tamil Nadu, without wearing a mask turned viral on social media.