Chengala is a cluster of four wooded settlements where 66,000 people live. Most are engaged in farming paddy and vegetables. Many others, like the young salesman, are among the more than two million people from Kerala who work outside the country, including in the Gulf states.
When the man reached Chengala, local village council members immediately reached out and the local public health centre took down his details. They asked him to isolate himself from his wife and three children. So the man began living alone in a shed outside his house.
Six days later, his test came back as positive. By that time, he was already in isolation in his home. Later, he was taken to hospital, where he recovered. After returning home, the salesman is still living in isolation "just for safety".