The first three cases of coronavirus in India were reported from Kerala. (File)
Thiruvananthapuram/ New Delhi:
Five of a family in Kerala have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people in the country to 39. Three of the family had recently visited Italy, one of the nations that reported the most cases of coronavirus. State health Minister KK Shailaja said the family did not share their travel history at the airport and were not screened.
"They also refused to be hospitalised initially and we had to persuade them," the minister said.
The five people who tested positive are residents of Pathanamthitta district. All have been admitted to the Pathnamathitta general hospital and are under observation.
"The three persons who travelled to Italy had met some relatives after returning. It was the relatives who approached a hospital with symptoms and they were isolated. The family which travelled to Italy was also isolated later," the minister said.
India's first three cases of coronavirus were also reported from Kerala. All three patients — medical students from Wuhan — have recovered from the disease.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting with officials to discuss the outbreak. They were asked to identify locations for sufficient quarantine facilities and make provisions for critical care in case the disease spreads further.
Nearly 6000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Italy, of whom more than 225 people are dead. The Italian government has placed large parts of the north under lockdown to contain the virus.
Starting from China's Wuhan city in December, the coronavirus has spread to over 95 nations and territories. More than 3,500 people are dead and 100,000 people have been infected.