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COVID-19: Priest in Kerala arrested for holding mass

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
March 23, 2020 19:11 IST
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As coronavirus cases in the country surge past 400, a priest in Kerala who conducted a mass at a church defying a government order against public gatherings was arrested on Monday while authorities in Tamil Nadu plan to paste 'Do Not Visit' stickers outside houses of home quarantined people.

IMAGE: A vendor covers his face with a cloth as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID 19 at a vegetable market in Kochi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Police also lodged criminal cases against home quarantined persons who ventured outside and have warned that violators of home quarantine order will face arrest.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country surged to 415, a spike from the figure of 360 the night before, according to the Union health ministry.


In Kerala, priest Pauly Padayatti, Vicar of the Lady of Perpetual Help Church at Koodapuzha in Chalakudy, conducted the mass on Monday morning in which at least 100 people had participated, police said. The priest was arrested and later let off on bail.

SEE: Kerala priest arrested for conducting holy mass


A case under sections 269 IPC (negligent act likely to spread infection of diseases dangerous to life) and 118e of the Kerala Police Act (causing danger to public) has been registered against the priest and the 100-odd faithful.

In Tamil Nadu, the greater Chennai Corporation said as many as 3,000 homes are under the quarantine watch for coronavirus and they will be stamped with stickers to ensure social distancing, the city civic body said.

"All the houses where suspected home quarantine people are residing, stickers will be pasted for alerting others and to ensure social distancing," the city civic body said in a release. The green and red coloured stickers will have 'COVID19-Do Not Visit-Home Under Quarantine'.

The corporation, the biggest in Tamil Nadu, said "right now 3,000 homes are under quarantine watch in greater Chennai corporation limits."

On the stamping of stickers, it said this was a "time of emergency and it has to be taken in the right spirit," in an apparent appeal to people to cooperate.

The stickers will further have the name of the persons, the number of people under quarantine and address of the house. It will also have the starting and ending date of the quarantine period.

In Delhi, there were reports that authorities have started marking residences with stickers in which one or more people have been asked to stay in home quarantine due to their travel abroad and likely contact with COVID-19 patients.

Bengaluru city Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said those subjected to home quarantine stamping will be arrested if they were found to visit public places.

"5,000 Home quarantine stamping was carried to ensure they remain home in public interest,"he tweeted.

"I have received calls some of those stamped are moving in BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses and sitting in restaurants. Please call 100, these people will be picked up, arrested and sent to government quarantine," Rao said.

According to officials, the stamped people should remain quarantined at home, the default period being 14 days.

In Odisha, police said criminal cases were registered against four persons including a Bhubaneswar-based couple, for violating quarantine guidelines.

A case was registered against the couple on Sunday for flouting home quarantine rules after returning from abroad, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Anup Sahoo.

The couple has been shifted to a quarantine facility and kept under isolation by the authorities, he said.

In the second incident, a 30-year-old man who recently returned from Uzbekistan, was booked by the Danupali Police in Sambalpur on Sunday for violating COVID-19 quarantine guidelines, said Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Sambalpur, Tapan Mohanty.

On getting information that the man registered for home quarantine was not staying indoors, the police carried out necessary verification and found he was violating COVID- 19 quarantine guidelines, he said.

The man was booked under section 188 (disobedience of government order) and section 271 (disobedience of quarantine rule) of the IPC, police said.

In another case, a resident of Puri Ghat area of Cuttack, who had recently returned from abroad, had been advised to observe home quarantine, but he was found to be flouting the order, a police officer said.

An FIR was registered against him for violating home quarantine norms and the person was sent to an institutional quarantine facility, he said

People asked to stay in home quarantine must strictly remain in isolation or be prepared for serious consequences, the police officer said.

As many as 3,474 persons from Odisha who returned from abroad have so far registered themselves under the state government's Covid-19 portal, according to Subroto Bagchi, the state government's chief spokesperson on COVID-19,

In Jammu and Kashmir, Police have registered an FIR against two persons, hailing from Awantipora area of Kashmir, for concealing their travel history to avoid mandatory quarantine for those coming from coronavirus-hit countries.

"Upon the information received from the magistrate that two persons of Awantipora area have concealed their travel history in order to evade necessary quarantine process, a case under relevant sections of the law has been registered against them at police station Awantipora," a police spokesman said in Srinagar.

He said the booked persons are students and have recently returned to village Charsoo and village Goripora of Awantipora with a travel history of visiting Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"They have been sent to EDI Pampore to undergo necessary quarantine and further action under the said FIR shall be initiated after their quarantine period is over," the spokesman said.

Police has appealed to the general public to cooperate with adminstration and its personnel in this unprecedented situation and disclose their travel history proactively.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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