Kerala detected as many as 42 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, the highest single-day spike in fresh cases that the state has recorded since reporting the first case of infection in India on January 30 of this year.
With the latest development, Kerala’s tally of confirmed cases stands at 732, including four casualties. Out of the total number of patients, 216 can be identified as active cases.
The state also witnessed the recovery of two more patients on Thursday night while one Covid-19 patient died at the Taluk Headquarters Hospital Chavakkad.
Aged 73, Khadeejakutty Muhammed hailed from Chavakkad. She had recently returned from Mumbai where she was visiting her son and his family. Her samples were collected upon her return and tested positive for the infection.
Among the 42 new patients detected on Friday, 21 arrived from Maharashtra and 17 from abroad. New cases of infection have been on the rise in Kerala since May 18 and the subsequent return of the state’s natives who made their way back to India from Gulf, Maldives as well as other states where clusters have been identified by authorities.
The state has recorded as many as 131 new cases of infection over the last five days with northern districts accounting for most of these cases. Out of these, 36 cases have emerged from Malappuram and Kozhikode each, 26 from Palakkad, 22 from Kasargod, 18 from Kozhikode and 11 from Wayanad.
During a recent address to the media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stressed on the need for high-level surveillance in light of the rising number of cases of infection. “It is obvious that entry of people from abroad and hotspots of other states triggered a rise in infection level of the state. But it does not mean we are against our people coming home. We welcome them and provide best care. At the same time, we must follow social distancing and COVID code to protect ourselves from catching an infection. I appeal to all to take required precautions when in public places,” CM Vijayan said.
The CM also revealed that the spurt in infection levels was anticipated and the state government had been working on adequate measures to counter the challenges. According to him, 91,344 people have arrived in Kerala by road, sea and air. “Around 2,961 pregnant women, 1,618 senior citizens and 805 children have arrived in the state since the travel ban was lifted. Among them, 157 people are in hospital quarantine,” CM Pinarayi Vijayan added.
He also said that the situation demands responsible social behaviour to minimise the risk of infection. CM Vijayan said, “We have relaxed lockdown code to relaunch public life. But it is not a licence to celebrate or reactivate social life. The threat is in the air. I appeal to all to follow COVID Code to avoid infection,” Chief Minister said.
Police in Kerala have registered 4,047 cases against persons who were found in violation of advisories since they were not wearing face masks at public places. Another 100 cases have been registered against people who violated quarantine.