The officers will have to report for their duties on Friday, 23 July, 2021.

Covid testing inside a blue tentImage courtesy: PTI
news COVID-19 Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 19:17

The officers have been tasked with managing activities like contact tracing and ensuring compliance with COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.

The Kerala government has appointed five Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers as “Special Officers” to head COVID-19 containment activities in the state. The responsibilities of these officers will include contact tracing and ensuring that COVID-19 protocol is followed, as the state continues to see a high test positivity rate (TPR). The officials are to begin these new duties from Friday, July 23 onwards. The officers will have to be in their respective districts for a little more than a week until July 31. Meanwhile, the officers will have to attend to their own district responsibilities online.

The Special Officers include GR Gokul IAS for Palakkad district, Nooh PB IAS for Kasargod, Dr Karthikeyan S IAS for Thrissur, S Harikishore IAS for Kozhikode and Suhas Sivanna IAS for Malappuram. Recently, the state government announced that lockdown restrictions would be eased for three days for Bakrid. The decision drew flak from many corners, including the Supreme Court, as the relaxations came even as the TPR remained high in some districts.

Kerala continues to reel under COVID-19 cases as 12,818 new cases were detected from 1,03,543 samples tested in the past 24 hours, with the TPR vaulting over 12%, a state government statement said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in the statement, said 13,454 turned negative, taking the total cured in the state to 30,72,895, while the total active cases stood at 1,28,881. Another 122 Covid deaths were reported, taking the toll to 15,739.

Across the state, 4,09,323 people were under observation at various places, including 25,497 in hospitals. Kerala, for the past several days, has been leading the rest of the country in daily cases and few other key parameters and according to sources, the state government is planning to conduct a massive testing of over three lakh people on Friday.

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