Kerala MPs 'locked up' as isolation period extended


Thiruvananthapuram, April 4 
 The decision of the Kerala government to extend the isolation period for corona suspects from 14 to 28 days has landed alomst all 20 MPs from the state in a bit of quandary.

With the lockdown being strictly enforced, all the MPs are confined to their homes during the lockdown called to contain the pandemic.

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The 14-day self-isolation oder of the Health department was to end on Tuesday and it was yesterday that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that all who returned to the state after March 22 have to sit back home for 28 days.

"We are a bit puzzled as this fresh announcement came yesterday. I returned from Delhi on March 23 after the Parliament session ended. I am in isolation at my home as per the first guideline which prescribed 14-day isolation. Yesterday we heard the Chief Minister saying that all those who arrived in the state from abroad or other states after March 22 should be in isolation for 28 days," said Kollam RSP MP N.K. Premachandran.

Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram, is in Delhi as he failed to return after the Parliament session ended.

Speaking to IANS, Kasargode Lok Sabha member Rajmohan Unnithan, who is staying put at his home in the state capital, is restless as he is worried about his constituency.

"I returned here on March 23 and along with me in the flight were other MPs -- K. Sudhakaran, Hibi Eden and Premachandran. In Kochi where the flight stopped, a team of cleaners appeared and when I asked the airline cabin crew what's happening, they said there was a complaint about some passengers coughing and sneezing. Later when I landed in Thiruvananthapuram, I understood the situation," said Unnithan.

The lone CPI-M MP from Kerala, A.M. Ariff (from Alappuzha), said he would soon get in touch with the CM's office about the confusion over the isolation period.

"Though we are unable to step out of our house, we are hooked up on our mobiles, making calls as we Malayalees are spread across the globe and there is an issue everywhere which requires attention of the authorities," said Ariff.