68 local contact cases set off alarm as Covid count touches new high

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Local transmission cases saw a sharp increase of 68 as the state recorded its highest single-day count of 272 Covid positive cases on Tuesday. That the source of infection remains unknown in 15 cases is cause for further alarm, with the number of local contact cases too touching a new high.Briefing the media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the evolving situation warrants a higher degree of caution though the state is yet to enter the community transmission stage.

“We will have to pay a heavy price for the slightest carelessness. As seen nationally, when transmission occurs in urban areas, it is difficult to control. In Kerala’s case, there is no such urban/rural divide, and the risk of transmission to larger sections of people is higher,” he said.

The CM pointed out that the test positivity rate in Kochi is higher than that of the state average, calling for increased testing. As a large section of people rely on urban areas for jobs, trade and medical needs, the chances of contracting the infection are high.

Vigil to be upped in Kochi, Kozhikode

Taking a cue from Thiruvananthapuram city, the chief minister said, vigil will be strengthened in Kochi and Kozhikode too. He also expressed concern over the transmission trend in coastal areas.Of the new cases, as many as 157 persons returned from abroad while 38 arrived from other states. Seven healthcare workers and a person each from the CISF and the DSC were among those tested positive.

Malappuram recorded 63 cases, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (54), Palakkad (29), Ernakulam (21),  Kannur (19), Alappuzha (18), Kozhikode (15), Kasaragod (13), Pathanamthitta (12), Kollam (11), Thrissur (10), Kottayam and Wayanad (3 each) and Idukki (1).Thiruvananthapuram, with 42, had the highest number of local transmission cases. Meanwhile, Ernakulam and Malappuram had 11 each, whereas Alappuzha had three and Palakkad one.

A total of 111 negative cases were reported on the day. Twenty-three of them were from Palakkad, 20 from Ernakulam, 19 from Pathanamthitta, 10 from Malappuram, nine from Kannur, six each from Kollam, Thrissur and Kozhikode, four from Alappuzha, three each from Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad, and one each from Kottayam and Idukki.

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