Thiruvananthapuram: Taking a serious view of three fresh coronavirus patients not disclosing their Italy visit, the Kerala government on Sunday warned of strict action, including prosecution, against those hiding such travel to affected countries and symptoms of the infection.
The Health Department said failure to inform authorities about travel history and symptoms would be considered a crime, while the state police separately said it was "illegal and punishable" if anyone hid such information.
The warnings came on a day when Kerala reported five fresh cases of coronavirus, including three who had a recent travel history to Italy but evaded health screening at the airport on their return about a week ago.
The health department directed that those who come from coronavirus-affected nations should inform it at the earliest.
"Otherwise, it will be considered a crime. Those who come from abroad should be in-house surveillance for 28 days," a release from the health department said.
The police said the symptomatic persons should inform the authorities concerned.
"It is illegal and punishable" if anyone hid their travel history to the coronavirus-affected countries and did not reveal the symptoms of the virus, if any, a police release said here.
"Strict action, including prosecution, will be initiated against them. Directives of various government agencies should be followed in this regard," it added.
Kerala was put on high alert after the five fresh cases which came days after the southern state had successfully treated the country's first three coronavirus patients - medical students from Wuhan in China.
Health Minister KK Shailaja said the three, a couple and their son, had evaded health screening at the airport on their return about a week ago and all the five hail from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district.
Their two relatives, whom they visited, also tested positive for the virus.