Kerala reports 35,636 Covid cases, active caseload 3,23,828

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday that 35,636 people in the state have tested positive for Covid-19 out of the 1,46,474 samples tested in the past 24 hours, taking its total number of active cases to 3,23,828, while 48 deaths during the period mounted the states Covid death toll to 5,356.

The Chief Minister said that even though compared to the past two days, there has been a slight reduction in caseload, things look voluminous, putting a load on the respective district health centres.

“Ernakulum district alone has over 50,000 active cases and hence it’s becoming tough on the health workers. We all should understand that these health professionals are doing a yeoman service and a small aberration should not be blown out of proportion. We all have to be considerate to such people who are working extremely hard,” said Vijayan.

On a positive note, 15,493 people recovered from the disease in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 12,77,294.

“From Friday, the rate of RT-PCR test has been reduced from Rs 1,700 to Rs 500 and we have had reports of some private laboratories sounding hesitant on this. We are prepared to discuss with the laboratories, but they cannot violate the law and if they do, action will be taken against them,” said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister said steps are being taken to ensure that 50 per cent of the beds in the private hospital are kept aside for treating Covid patients.

“We have also instructed all the hospitals to ensure that their fire and safety equipment are in perfect condition and also to double check the systems,” added Vijayan.

He also said that the results of the Assembly elections will be declared on Sunday and as directed by the authorities, under no circumstances should there be any assembly of people to celebrate electoral victory.

“Taking into consideration the grave situation prevailing in our state, at no cost should there be any sort of celebrations or assembly of people. The winning candidates also have the habit of taking to the streets to celebrate, but no such activity would be allowed this time. It can all be done later when things become normal. So for the time being, let the celebrations take place on the social media,” said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister said that on Saturday, the police collected Rs 65.48 lakh by way of fines after over 38,000 people were penalised for not wearing masks or for flouting social distancing norms.

Vijayan also said that there seems to be some delay in the distribution of vaccines, as a result the vaccination drive for the 18+ population will take a few more days to get going.