The Kerala CM said the daily testing rate will be hiked to one lakh and at least 75 per cent will be RT-PCR tests. (REUTERS PHOTO).
The Kerala CM said the daily testing rate will be hiked to one lakh and at least 75 per cent will be RT-PCR tests. (REUTERS PHOTO).

Kerala announces new curbs as Covid-19 cases continue to surge

  • On Thursday, the state reported 5771 cases with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 9.87. The active case load is 72,392 and it reported 19 deaths taking the death toll to 3682. Almost 45 per cent of fresh cases of the country are from Kerala.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 09:23 PM IST

Amid an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases, Kerala on Thursday, announced a fresh set of restrictions to contain the virus including curbs on night travel and surveillance on festivities and public gatherings. While the rest of the country is busy relaxing norms Kerala has tightened restrictions to tide over the crisis.

Talking to the media in the state capital chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan admitted that the situation is serious and the government will do everything possible to contain the surge. He denied any laxity on the part of the government and cited the example of some European countries which are still struggling with the second and third spell of the pandemic.

“After 10 pm people with urgency will be allowed to travel. We have deployed 25,000 cops for surveillance and activated grassroot health machinery,” said the CM announcing a new programme named “Back to Basics” to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. He said a complete lockdown was not feasible at this juncture.

The CM said the daily testing rate will be hiked to one lakh and at least 75 per cent will be RT-PCR tests. Many experts have earlier questioned the state’s obsession with less reliable and cheap antigen tests-- about 66 per cent of total 94,59,222 tests are antigen, statistics show.

On Thursday, the state reported 5771 cases with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 9.87. The active case load is 72,392 and it reported 19 deaths taking the death toll to 3682. Almost 45 per cent of fresh cases of the country are from Kerala and its TPR is five times higher than the national average.

“After last month’s local body elections people lowered their guard. Slackness gripped all sectors. And after the arrival of the vaccine many thought remedy is around,” he said adding a study conducted by the community medicine department of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College showed 54% infected from their own houses.

“It clearly showed home quarantine facilities were not done properly and many who came from outside transmitted the disease to their kin,” the CM said adding a genome study was underway to find reasons for steady surge in cases.

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