Out of over 5,000 random samples tested as part of sentinel surveillance, only four people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressing mediaFB / Pinarayi Vijayan
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 19:32

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday reiterated that there has been no community transmission in the state. With lockdown restrictions easing and people entering in large numbers from other Indian states and foreign countries, Kerala has been witnessing a spike in the number of people testing positive for novel coronavirus over the past few days.

The Chief Minister cited data of people testing positive during sentinel surveillance. As part of the state government’s sentinel surveillance, random samples are collected from health workers, aged people and other frontline workers, to assess transmission of the coronavirus in the community.

“Out of the 5,630 samples of priority people collected as part of the sentinel surveillance, 5,340 have come out negative. Only four people among this have tested positive. This means community transmission has not occurred in Kerala,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

On Tuesday, 12 new people were found to be COVID-19 positive in the state. All the patients had come from outside Kerala. While four people are expats from abroad, six people came from Maharashtra and one each from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

A total of 643 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala. While 142 people are presently under treatment, 497 people recovered from the disease. The state has also witnessed four deaths of COVID-19 positive people.

“When people from outside Kerala started pouring into the state, we witnessed a spike in the number of cases. Next phase is community transmission, but we have prevented it from happening and we need to continue our vigil,” said the Chief Minister.

As of Tuesday, 53 people who were evacuated from foreign countries on flights to the state, six people who were evacuated by the Indian Navy and 46 people who came from other states via road, have tested positive.

No shopping with kids below 10

Emphasising the increased movement of people in the state with lockdown regulations relaxed, the Chief Minister cautioned that people should not go out for shopping with children below 10 years of age.

“Parents should especially note this matter,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

Pointing to the lockdown violations observed in the state, the Chief Minister added that people will not be allowed to sit and dine from street-side food outlets. Only parcel services will be allowed from such outlets, just like other restaurants.

Photo studios and wholesale textile stores can also be opened in the state.

“Having already given permission for textile shops, those outlets with more than one floor can also open and function,” added Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Chief Minister addressed the increasing rush observed in hospitals in recent days.

“When patients and those who come along with them rush to the hospitals without following physical distancing, it is creating a big challenge. The Health Department will intervene in the matter on war-footing,” he added.

Read:

Failing to get place in quarantine centre, Kerala man spent a night on shop veranda

Kerala’s COVID-19 fight is a model for other states: Maharashtra Health Minister

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