Udayavni Special

19 COVID-19 patients recover in Kerala, only 3 fresh cases reported

Team Udayavani, Apr 14, 2020, 7:46 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: For the second consecutive day, Kerala on Monday reported more number of COVID-19 patients cured of the disease than positive cases, with 19 of them discharged and three being hospitalised.

With the three new cases, the total number of coronavirus affected people in the state is now 378.

“While two people from Kannur tested positive, one case was reported from Palakkad. Two of them are primary contacts of the infected person and one was a foreign returnee,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after an evaluation meet.

Out of the 19 cured, 12 were from Kasaragod, three each from Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts, and one from Kannur.

“As of now, the state has 178 active cases and at least 1,12,183 persons are under observation, of which 715 are in isolation wards,” Vijayan said, adding that 15,683 samples have been sent for testing till now.

He said the state has now been testing at least 1,000 samples per day.

Vijayan also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange special flights to bring back those stranded in the Gulf.

All international health protocols can be followed while extending this facility, he said in a letter to the prime minister.

The chief minister said the state government would take care of the testing and quarantine needs of the Keralites after they return.

Vijayan also came down heavily on the behaviour of some people who came out of their homes in large numbers in various parts of the state on the eve of Vishu (Malayalam new year) and said they “behaved as if the lockdown period had ended”.

“The prime minister will inform the people on lockdown tomorrow. Yes, we have less numbers of affected persons these days, but we don’t have any option to lower our guard. We cannot predict where the virus can come up next. There is a need to practice social distancing. There are chances of community spread if we decide to relax the restrictions imposed now,” Vijayan said.

He even said if certain restrictions are relaxed a bit, “gatherings cannot be allowed in order to prevent community transmission”.

Asked about the reduction of number of positive cases in Kerala, the chief minister said the credit goes to the people of the state who strictly followed the lockdown.

“Apart from the police, health and other government officials, the people of the state have played a major role in controlling the pandemic. We all know how difficult it is to sit at home under quarantine. I would like to thank all those who have followed the instructions”, he said.

The chief minister said that closure of schools will not affect students as the government has uploaded textbooks of class 1 to 10 for Malayalam, English and Kannada medium in the state, he said.

Health Minister K K Shailaja said the state should continue its vigil against COVID-19 and cautioned that it was not yet time to be completely relieved as neighbouring states were seeing a spike in numbers, which was a cause for concern.

“We want to bring down the graph of positive cases. That is our effort. We feel our efforts are paying dividends , if we go by the results in the last few days, she said.

However, we cannot be completely relieved just because cases in the state have dipped. It is not enough if the virus is under control in Kerala. It is a pandemic. The cases in our neighbouring states are increasing and that is a cause of concern, the minister told reporters earlier in the day.

While Tamil Nadu has so far reported 1,075 positive cases and 11 deaths, Karnataka has accounted for 247 cases, which includes six deaths and 59 discharges.

Meanwhile, the Police Department registered 2,180 cases on Monday for violating lockdown protocol and arrested 2,042 people.

Kasaragod, the hotspot of Kerala, has 85 COVID-19 patients in the state followed by neighbouring Kannur with 43 cases.

Malappuram has 10 cases.

Kozhikode district has the most number of persons under observation — 17,407.

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