Udayavni Special

COVID-19: Lone positive case reported in Kerala on Wednesday

PTI, Apr 16, 2020, 7:51 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in various states, there was much to cheer for Kerala on Wednesday, April 15 with only one person testing positive, the lowest in recent weeks, and seven people recovering, taking the total number of those cured to 218, the highest in the country.

Though the tally of active patients fell to 167 in the southern state which recorded 387 positive cases since the country’s first COVID-19 case on January 30, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned it was not yet time to lower the guard.

“The state should maintain its stringent vigil and follow the lockdown restrictions without fail,” he told reporters here.

“In our country, the recovery rate is the highest in Kerala and 218 patients have been completely cured of the disease. There is good progress in testing and we are doing increased numbers now. But we cannot afford to give more exemptions and relaxations in the lockdown conditions,” Vijayan said.

Kerala reported the country’s first three COVID-19 cases, all returnees from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the deadly cornavirus, but they are among those recovered.

The death toll due to the disease remained at mere two in the state, whose management of the COVID-19 situation has already started earning accolades from various quarters.

“The solitary new positive case reported from Kannur on Wednesday was the lowest in the state in the past over a month and the patient had been infected through a contact,” Vijayan said.

“Out of the total 387 COVID-19 cases, a total of 264 were those who had come to the state from abroad and other states, while 114 contracted the disease through their contacts,” the Chief Minister said.

Eight of the infected people were foreigners.

“Seven people were cured today. Four from Kasaragod, two from Kozhikode and one person is from Kollam district. Till now387 people were affected with coronavirus in Kerala. 167 are under treatment now,” Vijayan said.

A total of 97,467 were under observation, including 522 in isolation wards of different hospitals, and 16,475 samples have been sent for testing, he said.

“This is a very serious phase. We need to continue with the lockdown protocol. We need to continue with the inter- state travel, ban, closure of cinema halls, malls, places of worship etc,” he said.

Under these circumstances, the government needed to identify the sectors which can have some relaxation on the restrictions imposed, he said, adding a decision will be taken during a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The union government had announced certain relaxations in the restrictions imposed in certain sectors. Kerala which has been pushing for financial assistance from the Centre in the backdrop of the crisis it was facing due to the pandemics hopeful that additional financial aid would be announced soon.

“The Centre is yet to come out with any additional financial aid to the states. Hope it will be announced soon. The state will continue with the lockdown protocol and maintain stringent vigil against the pandemic,” he said.

Vijayan said that he has brought to the Delhi government’s attention issues being faced by Keralite nurses in the national capital.

As of Wednesday, Kasaragod, the hotspot of COVID-19 has 80 people under treatment, followed by neighbouring Kannur with 44 patients.

On Wednesday, at least 2,499 cases were registered in the state for lockdown violations, 23,343 people arrested and 1,842 vehicles seized, the government said.

Police also booked cases against 17 foreign tourists who went to the Kovalam Beach in the state capital for a bath on Tuesday violating lockdown norms.

Cases were also registered against the owners and managers of the five hotels where the tourists had been put up.

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