Commandos of the Special Armed Police (SAP) were deployed on Wednesday in Thiruvanthapuram's Poonthura area that has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus cases over the last few days.
The authorities have also barred people from inter-state travel between Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and Thiruvanthapuram.
Public health specialist and core member of the state’s COVID-19 management team Dr Mohammed Asheel said there have been instances of super spreading in Poonthura where one person has infected more than six people.
Devaswom and Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the technical term 'super spreader' can be used for Poonthura. “Such rapid spread of COVID-19 has not been witnessed in any other nearby region," he said.
Of the 600 samples tested from the Poonthura area in the last five days, 119 people have been found to be infected of the virus. The strict measures were put in place after a patient was found to have had 120 primary contacts.
Dr Asheel said, “Poonthura perhaps may be the first evolving cluster outbreak in Kerala. However, with strict cluster containment strategy and co-operation of people, we will be able to contain at this level."
State Police Chief Loknath Behra said the Coastal Security and Marine Enforcement have been instructed to prevent movement of fishing boats between Poonthura and Tamil Nadu.
Twenty-five commandos have been deployed in the area under SAP Commandant-in-Charge L Solomon for special duty. Help of local religious leaders will also be sought to raise awareness on social distancing.
Police in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu states will ensure prevention of cross-border movement, Behra said, adding that he had spoken to Tamil Nadu DGP K Tripathi over the phone in this regard.
Deputy Commissioner Divya V Gopinath and Assistant Commissioner Aishwarya Dongre will lead the police operations in Poonthura.
Families living in the three wards of Poonthura will receive 5kg of rice for free, while more tests will be conducted in the coming days.
Kerala on Wednesday registered the highest single-day spike on Wednesday with 301 new cases being reported. Of these, 90 people got infected through contacts. Thiruvananthapuram reported 64 positive cases of which 60 were through contacts.