Keeping in view the rising number of cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Kerala government on Tuesday, January 4, issued a slew of directions to contain its spread, including restricting the number of attendees to various cultural and social functions. The COVID-19 evaluation meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has decided to restrict the number of people who can attend marriages, funerals, political, social and cultural events in a closed room to 75.
The Chief Minister's Office said the number of people who can attend such functions in open areas have been limited to 150. "The testing for symptomatic people who come from other countries will be strengthened. Currently, there are 181 Omicron cases in the state," the CMO release said. The testing for those arriving from foreign countries will be strengthened, it said.
Considering the spread of the Omicron variant, the state health department said that it will release a new protocol for home quarantine.
After reporting less than 3,000 fresh COVID-19 cases for the past two weeks, Kerala on Tuesday saw an increase in new infections with the recording of 3,640 cases which increased the caseload to 52,49,489. The state also recorded 453 deaths which increased the total fatalities to 48,637 till date, a government press release said.
Of the 453 deaths, 30 were recorded over the last few days and 423 designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Union government and the directions of the Supreme Court.
With 2,363 more people recovering from the virus since Monday, the total recoveries reached 51,89,100 and the active cases reached 20,180, the release said. As many as 71,120 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
Among the 14 districts, Ernakulam logged the highest with 641 fresh cases, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (599) and Kozhikode (403). Of the new cases, 33 were health workers, 52 from outside the State and 3,333 infected through contact, with the source of it not being clear in 222.
There are currently 1,05,547 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 1,03,193 are in home or institutional quarantine and 2,354 in hospitals, the release said.
With inputs from PTI