New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Continuing with the alarming surge in new COVID cases, Kerala on Friday reported 32,801 fresh infections further increasing the test positivity rate to 19.22 per cent. With the recent spike in cases, the total active cases in the state now stand at 1,95,254, the highest in India. The upward spiral of infections has been climbing for the past three days where the state has been consistently logging over 30,000 cases.

According to the Health Department, Malappuram recorded the highest cases of 4032, followed by Thrissur 3953 and Ernakulam 3627. Meanwhile, a genome sequencing study is progressing in three districts of Kasargod, Palakkad and Idukki districts, where breakthrough infection rate was found to be higher than 5 per cent.

When Kozhikode reported 3362 cases, Kollam saw 2828 followed by Palakkad 2727, Thiruvananthapuram 2255, Alappuzha 2188, Kannur 1984, Kottayam 1877, Pathanamthitta 1288, Idukki 1125, Wayanad 961 and Kasaragod 594.

The Covid death toll in the state has crossed the 20,000-mark with 179 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths now stands at 20,313. A total of 18,573 people have also recovered yesterday from COVID-19 in Kerala.

As many as 1,70,703 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. There are currently 4,98,491 people under quarantine in various districts of the state. Of these, 4,69,946 are under home, institutional quarantine and 28,545 in hospitals. A total of 3101 people were also newly admitted to the hospital.

CM Vijayan backs Kerala COVID model, calls criticism 'unwanted':

At a time when Kerala has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has rejected the criticism for alleged mishandling of the pandemic in the state and called it "unwanted."

Responding to the criticism being bombarded his way, he said Kerala has reported "no death due to lack of oxygen." Moreover, "no one has been deprived of medical aid or bed." The Chief Minister further questioned if Kerala's model is "wrong" in the containment of COVID-19, then "which model should we adopt?". Vijayan further alleged that some people are trying to neglect the facts and "deliberately creating confusion." 

According to Vijayan, Kerala has the largest population density after major cities. "The most effective defence against the pandemic is complete vaccination and it is the responsibility of the Centre to ensure the availability of doses," he said.

He further said that in all 3 seroprevalence studies conducted in the country, it was revealed that Kerala is the state with the least percentage of the infected population. "We did not waste a single drop of vaccine and successfully inoculated extra doses," said Vijayan. He also assured that the government "does not intend to fail its responsibilities."

Sunday lockdown to continue in Kerala:

Kerala on Friday announced that it will continue with Sunday lockdown, as there is no dip in the number of COVID cases in the state. Over the past two weeks, the state government had given an exemption for Sunday lockdown. The Centre today suggested that state governments of Kerala and Maharashtra explore the possibility of night curfews in areas with high Covid case numbers.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan