Idukki: As three more tested positive last night in Idukki, the district administration has decided to test as many samples as possible from today. The testing lab set up in Kottayam has put samples from Idukki on priority. Alappuzha Virology institute and Ernakulam Lab have also been given similar instructions to prioritise samples from the region.

The district administration has requested the state government to set up a lab dedicated to Idukki, similar to what was done in the case of Kasaragod district earlier. Since most of the people who tested positive are ones who had crossed the district border, police have been instructed to enforce stricter checks at district borders.

Until now, not everyone giving swab samples were asked to go into home quarantine by the health department. But that changes from today. Voluntary cases as well as cases detected by district health department will come under the ambit of these new instructions.

Idukki collector H Dineshan said that Idukki district is in a very serious situation currently. 17 cases have been reported in the district and more than 1300 are under observation now. One nurse from Thodupuzha also has tested positive for COVID-19.

It is quite alarming to learn that the Idukki and Kottayam districts, which were once green zones have now turned into a red zone with 34 confirmed cases in total among the two districts. Minister from the Idukki district MM Mani said that the situation demands extreme caution from the residents and needs more controls to limit the disease from spreading.