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Coronavirus scare - Tourists continue to be targeted in Kerala

Coronavirus scare - Tourists continue to be targeted in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram : Despite the Kerala government disapproving acts of targeting foreigners over the coronavirus scare, instances of the visitors being singled out and humiliated have surfaced in the state.

The latest incident was reported from Kannur where two tourists had to go without a morsel of food for four days after hotels allegedly refused to serve them any

The foreigners - a man and and a woman - were seen crying out of hunger on the wayside by locals in Payyannur in north Kerala town of Kannur following which the police and local authorities extended them a helping hand

The French and Italian nationals later said they had reached Kannur on March 11 but had not got any food for the last four days and had been starving

They said they wandered here and there and knocked at the door of many hotels and restaurants for food but no one helped them

Seeing the plight of the visitors, police and Payyannur civic body authorities bought them food and shifted them to Thalassery taluk hospital

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also said foreigners should not be seen as a COVID-19 carriers and warned those who tease them

The tourists, who reached Kerala after visiting Mumbai, Goa and Madurai, had no symptom of the coronavirus, authorities said

While hotels and resorts are denying foreigners rooms, restaurants are reluctant to give them food in many places even in well-known tourist destinations

Local people even chased them away out of fear of the spread of the virus and tried to evict them forcefully from public buses, the visitors complained

In another incident, a French couple, who reached Kannur from the highrange Wayand on a state-run KSRTC bus, had to face the wrath of co-passengers

Some local passengers, who got frightened seeing the foreigners, didnt allow the bus to proceed further

A number of passengers even got out of the bus due to the presence of the French couple

The bus was later taken to Kannur Town police station, from where the couple were shifted to the district hospital for observation

The couple, who reached the southern state on March 2 via Dubai, had no symptom of the virus in the preliminary examination, police said

In Kochi, police extended helping hand to a 27-year-old French woman Desmazure and her three-year-old Tao on Monday

Police traced the woman, who had lost her purse and had no money, based on the information of local people that a foreigner and child were roaming around the city amid the coronavirus threat

Their trouble began after an enquiry by local health officials found that she had also been to Varkala, from where an Italian tourist had tested positive

She was taken to a hospital and found she had no symptoms. As she had no money, she was forced to spend the night at the hospital corridor all night. Though a room was provided later, it was not clean and full of cobwebs and mosquitoes

The police later helped her to contact the French Consulate in Puducherry to arrange money and to go Delhi via train

She was also given a no coronavirus certificate by the doctors before departing from the state, they added

Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behera said police would ensure accommodation to the foreigners finding it difficult to get it

Local police officials were asked to inform the tourism department about such tourists in distress

Twenty-four people, including two foreigners, have tested positive far for the virus so far in the state

This is besides, the three medical students from Wuhan, Indias first three cases, who were treated and cured.



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News Summary - Coronavirus scare - Tourists continue to be targeted in Kerala
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