A total of 593 people in Kerala were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday.

Health workers in personal protective equipment checking temperature of a woman at her house. Three health workers are in a white coloured PPE, while the woman is wearing a blue top and red and white coloured three fourth pants.Image for representation
Coronavirus Coronavirus Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 08:49

Noting that more than 70% of the COVID-19 cases in Kerala are spreading through unknown sources, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged citizens to wear masks when stepping out and to maintain physical distancing, even at home.

The CM also said that if the number of patients increases considerably, the state may consider keeping patients with mild or no symptoms and those in the lower risk category in home isolation. Currently, all mild and no symptom patients are put under isolation at first-line treatment centres (FLTC) or isolation ward at hospitals. At the press conference on Saturday evening, the CM repeated that 60% of the COVID-19 cases in the state have no symptoms.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that 593 new coronavirus cases were reported from the state on Saturday. A total of 364 patients have been infected through contact and the source infection of 36 persons was not known yet. The CM added that 6,416 patients are currently under treatment in the state, while 204 patients have recovered. A total of 6,841 people are under quarantine in hospitals.

Kerala also reported two COVID-19 deaths on Saturday — Aruldas (70) and Baburaj (60), both from Thiruvananthapuram.

A complete lockdown was announced in the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram. Out of the 6,416 active cases in the state, 1,659 positive cases are from the district.

Read: People didn’t heed precautions: Kerala COVID-19 nodal officer on community spread

The state also identified 299 hotspots. In the last 24 hours, 18,916 samples were tested.

Explaining the current treatment facilities in the state, especially considering the growing clusters, Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Patients with severe conditions were admitted in hospital with ventilators and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Patients with less severity are treated at COVID-19 first-line treatment centres. Additionally, private hospitals are also authorised to treat COVOD-19 patients. The Health Department, local self-government and disaster management authorities together have arranged 5,00,000 beds for treatment."

He also added that more halls, hotels and colleges have been identified. They will be converted to first-line treatment centres during a COVID-19 emergency.

The CM also pointed out that shopping complexes and areas in cities have been not following the restrictions effectively. The government has also decided to supply one oxygen cylinder each to every police station in Kerala. This can be used by the officials as well as by the public in case of an emergency.

Read: How tribal communities in Kerala are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19

Watch COVID-19 recovered persons who donated plasma:

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