Thiruvananthapuram | Jagran News Desk: Two people, who returned to India from Abu Dhabi and Dubai via special Air India flights, have tested positive for the dreadful coronavirus infection, said the State government on Saturday.

"Two foreign returnees have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala today, taking total number of active cases to 17 in the state," said state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as quoted by news agency ANI. 

The state government further said that one of the patient is receving treatment in Kozhikode while the other one is getting treated in Kochi.

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With this, the total number of coronavirus cases in the state has increased to 505 while four people have lost their lives. As per the data available at the Ministry of Health and Familt Welfare website, 484 people have been cured in Kerala and discharged from hospitals so far. 

The two had returned to Kerala from Air India flights, carrying 363 Indians, stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India on Thursday had launched its biggest ever repatriation exercise to rescue its stranded citizens across the world due to the coronavirus lockdown. The massive repatriation exercise is named 'Vande Bharat Mission.'

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister earlier in the day said that the state had been successful in containing the virus in January, when the first case was reported, and during the second wave of infections in March.

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"It has been 100 days since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Kerala on January 30... We could contain the spread at that stage. The second phase started in (the first week of) March. Today, after two months, we have managed to flatten the curve," the Chief Minister said.

"Our recovery rate is comparable to the highest in the world. We are doing everything to avoid a third phase but we are prepared for any situation" he stated while cautioning people to be "more careful in the coming days given the expected return of thousands of Kerala residents stranded abroad".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma