Kasaragod, May 11: Kerala's Kasaragod district, which accounted for nearly 35 percent of the state's coronavirus (COVID-19), is now free from the deadly virus. With the last patients leaving for home after testing negative on Sunday, Kasaragod district recorded 100 percent recovery as all 178 patients were treated successfully. Kasaragod, once a COVID-19 hotspot in Kerala, now has zero cases and not a single person died due to the infection. Kerala Modifies Quarantine Rules For Those Returning From Other States And Countries After Three More Expats Test Positive For Coronavirus, Know Revised Guidelines.

The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Kasaragod on February 3. The patient had returned from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China. District authorities swung into action and their efforts bore fruits as the patient recovered on February 16. By March 24, Kasaragod had reported just six coronavirus cases. However, the district soon became Kerala's epicentre of the outbreak with the arrival of travellers from the Middle East. Islampur, Once Declared as Coronavirus Hotspot, Now Becomes Virus-Free; Know How Maharashtra's Small Town Achieved The Feat.

"A large number of regular commuters from the Gulf and Mumbai made the district a potential hotspot. But we had anticipated the threat. In fact, orders were issued that those who entered the district after February 20 should not attend any public function," District Collector Dr D Sajith Babu told The Indian Express. As cases started piling, authorities ramped up their efforts and imposed strict lockdown even before the nationwide restrictions were imposed.

Days before the lockdown, all hotspots in Kasaragod district were sealed. From March 17, the entry of vehicles from neighbouring districts was stopped. A before "Janata curfew" was observed, authorities imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the district and were allowed to come out only for six hours a day from 11 am to 5 pm, for buying essential commodities. All this helped authorities to contain the spread of coronavirus.

While central guidelines mandated 14 or 28 days quarantine for those with foreign travel history or suspected exposure, all those who returned to Kasaragod after February 20 were placed in home isolation till April 14. Consequently, the quarantine was stretched in many cases to 55 days. Officials kept coming to check whether people were in quarantine.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 11, 2020 10:23 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).