Some cases, where the source of infection could not be immediately traced, hinted at community transmission, the CM said.

Kerala
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 21:40

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has warned of the increasing number COVID-19 cases in the state, terming the situation as potentially grave. The state recorded 141 cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day figure so far.

“The state recorded 138 cases on Monday, 118 on Friday, 127 on Saturday and 133 on Sunday. The situation is getting grave,” Pinarayi said in a media briefing on the COVID-19 situation on Tuesday.

In six districts, more than 100 people are under treatment. This includes Malappuram (201), Palakkad (154), Kollam (150), Ernakulam (127), Pathanamthitta (126), Kannur (120), Thrissur (113), Kozhikode (107) and Kasargode (102).

Pinarayi urged residents to remain vigilant and to stay inside their homes to prevent transmission of the disease to the elderly and children.

"Now we must wear masks and keep physically distancing while stepping out of homes. There is a possibility of transmitting the disease by those who are infected but asymptomatic. Hence, we should be equally careful inside the homes too and while mingling with family members, especially with children and the elderly people," he said.

He said that the more serious cases were the ones where the source of the infection cannot be traced.

“This is hinting towards community spreading. In Kerala, such cases are below two percent while in the country as a whole, it's more than 40%. In those cases, we strictly follow the intervention protocol to probe if clusters were formed in those places that may have community transmission. Those places are categorised as containment zones, thus preventing formation of clusters and community transmission. This doesn't mean that the threat of community spread has been done away with,” the CM said.

He also justified the state’s push for testing of Non-Resident Keralite (NRK) expats from other countries, adding that those who are infected and those who test negative should be ferried in separate flights.

"We can’t be helpless at this juncture. We have to resort to all ways for preventing the level of transmission. That is why we demanded ferrying those who are negative and those who are positive separately.  In Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Malappuram districts, the transmission of the disease through contact is comparatively high,” he said.

The CM also noted that steps will be taken to avoid a shortage of health workers in the state. Final-year medical students will be given clinical posting, he added.

Among the new patients is a health worker from Ernakulam district. The number of active cases is currently at 1620, while the number of recovered is 1807.  

 Of the newly infected patients, 79 are returnees from foreign countries while 52 are from other states. Nine people were infected through contact.

The state also recorded one death on Tuesday. Vasanthakumar, a 68-year old man of Kollam district, succumbed to the disease. With this, the death toll has reached 23 in the state.

Meanwhile, the test result of 60 people returned negative. 1,50,196 people are under observation in the state, with 1,47,990 people are under home or institutional quarantine. 2206 are in isolation at hospitals, and 275 people are admitted to hospitals on Tuesday.

4473 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. A total of 1,92,059 samples have been tested so far. This includes routine testing, sentinel surveillance, augmented sampling, sentinel sampling, pooled sentinel, CB-NAAT and TrueNat. Of this result, 3661 samples are awaited. Seven more places have been added to the list of hotspots. With this, the number of hotspots in the state has reached 111.

The Chief Minister also stood against Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullappally Ramachandran for his remarks against Health Minister KK Shailaja, terming it as utmost heinous.  


 

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