Press Release:18-06-2020

Kerala offers TrueNat Covid test kits for testing Pravasies in Gulf countries

Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today informed that the State Government is in discussion with the airline companies and Embassies in certain Gulf countries to make available the TrueNat Covid test kits for testing Pravasis before they embark on their flight to India.

Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “There are Gulf countries where there is no facility for Rapid tests or where Pravasies are facing difficulty in conducting Rapid tests. The Kerala government will make available TrueNat kits in these places. This requires the cooperation of the airline companies and the permission of the Indian embassies in the respective countries, and the discussions are going on. There are already testing facilities in the UAE and Qatar. So these kits will be useful in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman to facilitate the testing of expatriates returning from these countries.”

The CM also added that enough testing kits are available with the State to send them abroad and the modalities will be worked out on getting the permission.

So far, 2,79,657 people have returned to Kerala from other states and abroad. Of these, 1,172 were diagnosed with Covid infection. 669 of these positive cases were in those who came back from foreign countries and 503 in those who arrived from other states. 327 came by road from other states and 128 by train. Maharashtra accounted for the maximum number of 313 cases reported among those who came from other states. “In fact, these figures indicate the need to increase our vigilance. We also need to check if we are becoming careless”, he added.

CM announces KSEB subsidy for extra usage during lockdown period

Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today announced the decision of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to provide a subsidy on a part of the extra usage by consumers during the lockdown period.

Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said, “The electricity consumption usually increases from February to May but since this time there was a lockdown, the power consumption has increased drastically as all the family members were in the house. As they were unable to take the readings due to the lockdown, consumers have got a consolidated bill for four months resulting in huge amounts. There has been no change in tariff structure or electricity rates. However, based on the complaints about huge bills, the government instructed the Electricity Board to look into the billing complaints and rectify any errors. Accordingly, the Board has decided to give ample time for making payments in instalments. They have also informed that there will be no disconnection on account of non-payment of bills.”

Some of the other decisions are:

  • Free electricity for those with a connected load of less than 500 watts, regardless of the amount of electricity used.
  • Those with a connected load of 1,000 watts and usage of up to 40 units per month, will be billed at Rs 1.50 per unit.
  • For usage of up to 50 units per month, 50% of the additional amount billed will be given as subsidy.
  • For usage of up to 100 units per month, 30% of the additional amount billed will be given as subsidy.
  • For usage of up to 150 units per month, 25% of the additional amount billed will be given as subsidy.
  • For usage of over 150 units per month, 20% of the additional amount billed will be given as subsidy.
  • Consumers can pay the electricity bill in up to five instalments.

It is estimated that the Electricity Board will incur an additional liability of Rs 200 crores by providing this subsidy which would benefit about 90 lakh domestic consumers.

Minister of Health & Social Justice, Smt K K Shailaja and Chief Secretary, Dr Vishwas Mehta IAS, were also present for the briefing.

Kerala Covid-19 Tracker: 97 new cases & 89 recoveries today, 1,358 patients under treatment

Thiruvananthapuram, June 18: 97 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Kerala today while 89 patients who were undergoing treatment have recovered. Announcing these details, Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan also condoled the death of K P Sunil, a 28-year-old driver in the Excise Department in Kannur, after being infected with the virus.

Of the new active cases, 65 people have come back from other countries (Kuwait-25, UAE-17, Saudi Arabia-11, Qatar-7, Kazakhstan-3, Oman-1 & Bahrain-1), 29 from other states (Maharashtra-12, Delhi-7, Tamil Nadu-5, Haryana-2, Gujarat-2 & Orissa-1) and three from primary contact (two in Kollam district & one in Ernakulam district).

The district-wise details of those who tested positive are 14 persons from Palakkad district, 13 in Kollam district, 11 each from Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts, nine in Alappuzha district, six each from Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, five each in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode districts, four each from Malappuram and Kannur districts, and three from Kasargod district.

Of the 89 patients who tested negative, 22 are from Thrissur district, 11 each in Palakkad and Kasargod districts, 10 from Alappuzha district, nine in Thiruvananthapuram district, eight from Kollam district, four each in Ernakulam and Kannur districts, three from Pathanamthitta district, two each in Kottayam, Malappuram and Wayanad districts, and one from Kozhikode district.

Till now, 2,794 persons have been confirmed with the disease in Kerala and presently, 1,358 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the State.

A total of 1,27,231 people are under observation across the state. Of these, 1,25,264 are under surveillance at their homes or institutional quarantine centres and 1,967 in Hospitals. 190 persons were admitted to hospitals today.

In the last 24 hours, 4,817 samples were analysed. So far, 1,69,035 samples have been sent for testing in total. 35,032 samples were tested as part of Sentinel Surveillance of high-risk groups and out of these, 33,386 samples were negative.

There is no new hotspot today. However, two places were excluded from the list bringing down the number of hotspots in the State to 108.