Amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, the Kerala government has announced that it aims to test over 2.5 lakh people over Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17. The decision was taken at a COVID-19 assessment meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday. The Chief Minister further said that the state aims to contain the surge of COVID-19 cases through extensive testing, strict containment and vaccination at an increased pace. Health Minister KK Shailaja was also in attendance for the meeting, which was held through video conferencing.
‚ÄúCOVID-19 tests will be conducted on all those who have been active in the election campaigns. Frontline workers and those who live in the areas where the disease has been spreading rapidly will be tested, apart from those who work in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Tests will also be done for those who work at shops, hotels, markets and delivery executives,‚ÄĚ a statement from the CMO reads. Kerala on Thursday has reported 8778 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of active cases in the state to 58,245.
In the meeting, it was also decided that mobile RT-PCR testing units will be set up in markets and other areas where the transmission of the coronavirus is high. The CM also directed that ample transport be arranged for students appearing for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Higher Secondary exams in the state. The exams began on April 9, and while the Higher Secondary exams will go on until April 26, the SSLC exams will be held until April 29.
In the meeting, it was also decided to curb the number of people who gather at malls and marketplaces, and to make it mandatory to obtain permission for the conduct of functions like weddings. The number of people allowed to gather at indoor functions has been capped at 75, and at 150 for outdoor gatherings.