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Coronavirus: Case registered against 79 people for gathering to welcome Bigg Boss Malayalam contestant at Cochin airport

The charges were invoked for violating the ban on mass gathering issued by the airport authority in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities at Cochin have registered a case against 75 unknown persons and 4 others who had gathered at the Cochin International airport on Sunday night to welcome Bigg Boss Malayalam Season 2’s most popular contestant Rajith Kumar.

The charges were invoked for violating the ban on mass gathering issues by the airport authority in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic.

Ernakulam district collector S Suhas also took to his official Facebook page and informed about a “Case being registered against four known persons and 75 unknown people.” 

In the Facebook post, he wrote in Malayalam that this act by a fans association of a TV show is shameful for every Malayali, at a time when the whole world is taking precautions against the coronavirus outbreak. “The law cannot close its eyes against such blatant breaking of the rules when religious, political and social groups are all avoiding every kind of gathering as part of the precautions to keep the people safe,” he wrote. He further stated that such star worship is generally not part of Malayali culture.

Screenshot of Ernakulam district collector S Suhas’s post on his official Facebook page

As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) had banned gatherings at both terminals of the airport but hundreds of fans thronged the Cochin airport last night, around 9 pm to welcome Rajith, the reality show contestant.

Rajith Kumar, a lecturer, has been in the news for many of his misogynist and controversial statements. He was one of the contestants of season 2 of Bigg Boss Malayalam hosted by actor Mohanlal. He had to face an unexpected ouster from the show after he applied chilli paste onto the eyes of one of his fellow contestant, Reshma.

With the addition of two fresh cases reported March 15, Kerala’s active coronavirus cases have touched 21. Including the earlier three discharged cases, the state’s total would reach 24.

Due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, panic has set in. People have been evading tests, hiding travel histories and fleeing hospitals, which in turn is making the situation worse. In one such case, a couple (in their 50s) and their son(24) who hail from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala with recent travel history to Italy evaded health screening at the airport and were reluctant to get admitted at the hospital initially. They have tested positive for coronavirus.

The State of Kerala has declared Health Emergency due to COVID-19 novel coronavirus, cancelling all the public functions for a month. Government has requested cinema halls to stop their operations for the time being. In his press conference, the CM also requested the people to refrain from attending all public functions, festivals and weddings where a large number of people gather. He also requested people to conduct rituals keeping them limited at home.

According to the latest figures available on March 16 (Monday), the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India has soared up to 110 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Two deaths have been reported in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively. 

Taking into consideration the rising number of Coronavirus cases, the Central Government on March 14 decided to treat the deadly virus as a “notified disaster.”

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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