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This is the only state or UT in India to not have a single case of coronavirus

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Even as the number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 7 lakh by July 7, the islands of the union territory (UT) of Lakshadweep bear no cases of the novel virus, making it the only state in the entire country to remain coronavirus-free.

Health officials of the union territory apparently attributed their success to early preparedness, mandatory testing of its residents and strict quarantine. Lakshadweep has also been dependent on Kerala for their medical requirements, with constant movement of necessary goods between the two states until mid-March. T Kassim, deputy collector, Kavaratti, reportedly said, "Even for the residents, what we have done is strict quarantine for seven days at the government guest house in Kochi. After seven days, they will be tested for COVID. Only those testing negative will be allowed to board the ship (to the island). Since the population is small, we can manage this relatively easily. We have also provided free food, costing 260/packet, to those without means, including migrant workers on the island, three times a day."

The health secretary of Lakshadweep had earlier said that restricting the entry of tourists at an early stage helped them a great deal in handling the crisis. "Very early on, we had started restricting the entry of people, beginning with the foreign tourists and then the domestic tourists. We subsequently stopped all passengers. When the lockdown was imposed, the people of Lakshadweep who wanted to come back were all tested for Covid through RT-PCR in Kochi and Mangalore. We brought them back only if they tested negative. All of them tested negative. We used the usual methods of awareness by employing the ASHA and anganwadi workers to go door-to-door, educating the people about the virus. If they reported fever and other suspected symptoms of Covid, they could call on our helpline. We took samples of some suspected cases and sent them to Kerala. But they came back negative," the health secretary had reportedly stated.

As on July 7, a total of 720k cases have been registered across India and 20160 people have died. Tamil Nadu has reported 115k cases and 1571 deaths.

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