THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has recorded 13835 Covid-19 cases -- the highest-ever till date -- on Saturday. Worryingly, the test positivity rate -- the number of confirmed cases per 100 tests --- too is climbing and was 17.04%, as against the WHO's standard of less than five percent.
Ernakulam topped the list of districts that have been worst hit with 2187 cases. Five other districts too crossed the one-thousand mark. They were Kozhikode, 1504, Malappuram, 1430, Kottayam, 1154, Thrissur 1149 and Kannur 1132.
Thiruvananthapuram reported 909 cases, Alappuzha 908, Palakkad 864, Pathanamthitta 664, Idukki 645, Wayanad 484, Kollam 472 and Kasaragod 333.
Alarmed by the rise in new cases, the state government has extended restrictions on public gatherings to cover marriage and housewarming ceremonies. Organisers of both the ceremonies will now have to register on the government's Covid-19 Jagratha portal, an order said.
The maximum number of participants for any kind of indoor programmes has already been set -- with 75 allowed to get together indoors and 150 if the event is held outdoors. The government's Covid incident commanders will confirm that the number of participants has not exceeded this limit and ensure that the Covid-19 protocol is followed at these functions.
None of the returnees from the UK, South Africa and Brazil tested positive during the previous 24 hours, said a statement issued by the health minister's office on Saturday evening. In recent times, a total of 113 persons from these countries had tested positive, and barring one, all have been cured. Eleven of them had mutant variants.
A total of 1.35 lakh samples were collected on Friday. 81,211 samples were tested during the previous 24 hours. As many as twenty-seven further deaths were confirmed to have been caused by Covid-19. The total death toll has now risen to 4904.
12,499 of the new patients on Friday were infected through contact and 259 persons had come from outside the state. Among the new patients were 58 health workers. 3654 persons recovered from the disease on the day.
A total of 2.18 lakh people are under quarantine. Of them, 10539 are being monitored in hospitals and the rest are under home or institutional quarantine. Eight new places have been added to the list of hotspots taking the total to 452.