With one day to go for the third phase of local body polls in Kerala, state Health Minister KK Shailaja has warned of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases post the elections. "The number of cases would increase after the elections, it’s seen.Training has been given to health workers to be prepared for this," the Health Minister told the media in Kannur on Saturday.
The third phase of the polling will be held on Monday, December 14. The first phase was held on December 8 and the second phase on December 10. The counting of the votes will be done on December 16. After going to polls on Monday, the Health Minister urged voters to be on self-imposed quarantine, and not to step out unless for emergencies. She also urged the elderly people and children to stay home.
"There was a surge in the number of infected cases when the lockdown was lifted. But now the precautions have been taken anticipating more the increase. If the transmission is rampant, those who can afford it would need to seek treatment at private hospitals," the minister reportedly said, blaming the union government for not adequately helping Kerala during the pandemic, and the floods earlier.
Kerala on Saturday recorded 5,949 new COVID-19 cases. The recoveries on Saturday stand at 5,268.
"It has been through a mass fight that the diseases have been brought under control in the state. The health workers deserve boundless applause for that," the minister said. On Saturday, Kerala tested 59,690 samples over 24 hours. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the state stands at 9.97%.
Meanwhile gross violations of COVID-19 protocols have become worrying for the state. A textile showroom in Thiruvananthapuram city, Pothys, which also has a supermarket in the ground floor, was shut down by the district administration for violating protocols on Friday.