On Thursday, Kerala recorded 97 cases of COVID-19, 89 recoveries and one death.

Kerala mulls giving rapid test kits to Gulf countries to test expats returning home
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 21:16

The Kerala government is considering providing TrueNat rapid test kits to Gulf countries that don’t have rapid testing facilities, in order to conduct tests on Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs), Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday.

This may also be extended to countries facing difficulties in conducting tests.

“This needs the cooperation of the airline companies as well as the permission of the Indian Embassies in the countries concerned. Discussions in this regard have been progressing with airline companies. It is for countries which don't have such facilities like, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. It may help in conducting tests on expats from the UAE and Qatar,” Pinarayi Vijayan said during his COVID-19 media briefing on Thursday, June 18.

This, after the Kerala government recently announced that all international returnees arriving in the state via chartered flights must produce no-COVID certificates from June 20. The move has raised concerns among expats who fear longer delays to return home. 

New cases of COVID-19

The state on Thursday recorded 97 new cases of the coronavirus. 89 people have recovered. The state reported one more death, taking the toll to 22. 

The deceased was identified as KP Sunil, an employee of the Excise Department in Kannur. He was 28.

Of the new cases, 65 people have returned from abroad while 29 people returned from other states. Three people have been infected through contact.

Of the infected people, 12 returned from Maharashtra, seven from Delhi, five from Tamil Nadu, two each from Haryana and Gujarat and one from Odisha.

District wise details of new positive cases are: Palakkad - 14, Kollam - 13, Kottayam - 11, Pathanamthitta - 11, Alappuzha - 9, Ernakulam - 6, Thrissur - 6, Idukkki - 6, Thiruvananthapuram - 5, Kozhikode - 5, Malappuram - 4, Kannur - 4 four and Kasaragod- 3.

Among those who recovered, nine are from Thiruvananthapuram, eight from Kollam, three from Pathanamthitta, ten from Alappuzha, two from Kottayam, four each from Kannur and Ernakulam, 22 from Thrissur, 11 from Palakkad, two from Malappuram, one from Kozhikode, two from Wayanad and 11 from Kasaragod.

A total of 4,817 samples have been tested in the past 24 hours.

As of Thursday, the state has reported 2,794 cases; active cases stand at 1,358. 

A total of 1,27,231 people are under observation: 1,25,264 on home quarantine while 1,967 are under surveillance in hospitals. 190 people were admitted to hospitals across the state on Thursday. 

 “We have to introspect that our vigilance has come down as indicated by the spike in the cases. There is a rush in markets and public places. It has been decided to take stern action on it. Assistant Commissioners and Deputy Superintendents of Police of special branches have been designated to monitor quarantine breach. 18 people have been registered against those who won’t wear masks,” the Chief Minister said.

35,032 samples have been tested as part of the sentinel surveillance. 33,386 returned negative. The number of hotspots in the state is currently 108. 

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