Udayavni Special

COVID-19: 10 fresh cases in Kerala, 23,000 under observation


PTI, Apr 24, 2020, 7:53 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Ten fresh COVID-19 cases were reported in Kerala on Thursday, April 23 taking the total active cases in the state to 129 with over 23,000 people under observation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Four of the new cases reported were from the high range Idukki district, two each from Kozhikode and Kottayam, and one case each from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, the CM said in his daily media briefing on the disease situation.

Allaying the fears of community spread, Vijayan said that the state has not yet reached the third stage of COVID-19 spread in Kerala.

“The third stage of COVID-19 spread has not occurred and there has been no community spread also as of now.

But we need to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the deadly virus,” he added.

Both Idukki and Kottayam, have been removed from the green zone and have now categorized under Orange zone as positive cases have been reported.

Of the new cases, two had a history of foreign travel, four had returned from neighboring states two from Chennai, one each from Pollachi and Mysuru, and others were contacts of those already infected.

Foreign returnees are from Sharjah and Dubai.

Samples of eight people six from Kasaragod and one each from Malappuram and Kannur, returned negative.

While the COVID-19 cases touched 447, a total of 316 people have been cured, Vijayan said, adding 23,876are under observation, including 437 in isolation wards of various hospitals.

The state has till now sent 21,334 samples for testing.

The four districts in the red zone will remain under strict lockdown while the rest of the 10 districts have now been categorized under the orange zone.

“The hotspots in all the districts will remain closed in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” the Chief Minister said.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has given the nod to Kannur and Kottayam medical colleges labs to undertake COVID-19 testing.

Presently, the state’s 14 government and two private labs have received approvals for virus testing.

As the numbers of positive cases are rising, the government has decided to purchase 10 real-time PCR machines for testing.

Stringent measures would be taken to prevent the interstate travel along the borders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, he said.

Meanwhile, cases have been booked against a doctor couple, a Kendriya Vidyalaya school teacher, and an excise official, who helped the teacher, under the Kerala Epidemic Act and various provisions of the IPC for violating lockdown norms.

All those who had come to the state after taking part in the Tablighi congregation in Delhi have been identified and tested for the disease.

The government has decided to allow marriages at churches but said only a maximum of 20 people can participate.

Vijayan also said that random anti-body tests will be conducted among health workers, police, home delivery volunteers, and guest workers to ensure that there is no community spread.

Kannur district with 59 positive cases has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the state followed by neighboring Kasaragod with 19 cases.

Kozhikode and Malappuram have 15 and five cases respectively.

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