Kerala’s test positivity rate is now 12.21% with 8,253 new Covid-19 cases
State Health Minister K K Shailaja said the government was forced to relax norms following a request from many religious bodies. She said only close relatives will be allowed to see the face and they will have to undergo a two-week quarantine after that.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 22:14 IST
Kerala’s coronavirus graph continued to rise steadily with a test positivity rate of 12.21 per cent on Saturday even as the government tweaked the strict protocol allowing close relatives to have a last glimpse of Covid-19 victims before their final journey.
State Health Minister K K Shailaja said the government was forced to relax norms following a request from many religious bodies. She said only close relatives will be allowed to see the face and they will have to undergo a two-week quarantine after that.
“We understand the plight of bereaved families. Situation warrants such restrictions. We are going through a critical phase and restrictions are necessary. We want people not to lower their guard during festivities,” she said.
Earlier many religious bodies had asked the government to allow bath and religious ceremonies but the government said bathing or touching of the body cannot be permitted in the prevailing situation. The zip of the body bag would be opened a bit to show the face after maintaining six-feet distance. Other religious rituals can be performed without touching the body and it should be completed in a few minutes.
Children below 10 and people who had crossed 60 won’t be allowed, said the new circular issued by the health ministry.
For many relatives a “final goodbye” is important and they have been pleading with the government for it for some time. They said their grief and sorrow increased manifold due to missing the last journey of their kin. To help grieving relatives some of the crematoriums in the state have started live streaming the burial or cremation of the dead.
Last week, the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation had started live casting of cremations in view of relatives unable to take part in the last journey. Some of the crematorium employees have also been trained to conduct religious ceremonies suiting their beliefs.
On Saturday, the state reported 8,253 Covid-19 cases taking the total to 3,78,605. Out of these cases, 2,87,261 people have recovered 97,417 are active cases. In active caseload, the state is on third spot but its mortality rate is the lowest in the country at 0.4 per cent. With 25 fresh fatalities, the death toll has gone up to 1,280 in the state. After conducting 67, 593 tests, 8,253 people tested positive clocking a TPR of 12.21 per cent, statistics show.