Press Release:17-09-2020

Kerala Covid-19 Tracker
4,351 new cases & 2,737 recoveries today, total 34,314 patients under treatment
45,730 tests in the last 24 hours

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 16: Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that 4,351 new active Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Kerala today. 4,081 were contact cases and the source of infection of 351 was unknown. Of those diagnosed today, 57 have come back from foreign countries and 141 from other states. 72 healthcare workers were infected through contact. 10 deaths were also reported. At the same time, 2,737 patients under treatment for the disease have recovered today.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “The number of new positive cases and the number of recoveries are the highest single-day tally so far in the State. The huge increase in the number of new cases is a matter of concern. The severity of the disease spread is high in Thiruvananthapuram district. Today, six districts have over 300 positive cases. The number of cases whose source is not known is also rising. As contact cases are increasing, pregnant ladies should strictly follow room quarantine.”     
Meanwhile, the deaths confirmed today as due to Covid are Jayakumari (63), Nizamuddin (49) & Sainulabdeen (67) from Thiruvananthapuram district, Jacob (89) & Abbas (74) from Thrissur district, Mariakutty (75) from Malappuram district; Hauva Umma (73), Jameela (62) & Sasidharan Nair (75) from Kollam district and Abdulla (64) from Kozhikode district. This takes death toll to 489.
The district-wise figures for those who tested positive for Coronavirus today are Thiruvananthapuram 820, Kozhikode 545, Ernakulam 383, Alappuzha 367, Malappuram 351, Kasargod 319, Thrissur 296, Kannur 260, Palakkad 241, Kollam 218, Kottayam 204, Pathanamthitta 136, Wayanad 107 and Idukki 104.
The numbers from the districts for the locally transmitted cases are Thiruvananthapuram 804, Kozhikode 536, Ernakulam 358, Alappuzha 349, Malappuram 335, Thrissur 285, Kasaragod 278, Kannur 232, Palakkad 211, Kollam 210, Kottayam 198, Pathanamthitta 107, Wayanad 99 and Idukki 79.
The count of infected healthcare workers district-wise are Ernakulam 16, Thiruvananthapuram 15, Kasaragod 12, Thrissur & Kannur 8 each; Kollam, Palakkad & Malappuram 3 each, Alappuzha 2 and Pathanamthitta &Wayanad 1 each.
The district-wise figures for the patients who tested negative today are Thiruvananthapuram 547, Kollam 325, Pathanamthitta 102, Alappuzha 196, Kottayam 120, Idukki 47, Ernakulam 357, Thrissur 140, Palakkad 114, Malappuram 214, Kozhikode 275, Wayanad 79, Kannur 97 and Kasaragod 124.
So far, 87,345 people have recovered from Covid in the State and at present, 34,314 patients are undergoing treatment for the disease.
A total of 2,13,595 people under observation across the state, 1,89,759 at their homes or institutional quarantine centres and 23,836 in hospitals. 3,081 persons were admitted to the hospitals today.
45,730 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. Till now, a total of 22,87,796 samples have been sent for testing, including 1,92,765 samples from priority groups as part of Sentinel Surveillance.
20 new places were demarcated as hotspots today while 21 were exempted. Presently there are 608 hotspots in Kerala.
“Crowding would not be allowed. Many people are publically violating Covid protocol and behaving as if it is not applicable to them. They would be prosecuted under the relevant provisions of the Kerala Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act. No activity without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing will be allowed in our State”, the CM added.
Action against fake news not to affect media freedom: Kerala CM 
Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today clarified that the police-led arrangement to take action against fake news is not targeted at any specific individuals and will not affect media freedom in any way.
It may be recalled that the Kerala government had set up an Anti Fake News Division to prevent the spread of misinformation on Coronavirus in the state. There is also a Fact Check division under the Information & Public Relation Department (IPRD) to check the facts of news and messages, especially on social media. Recently, the Chief Minister had announced that the Police would take stringent action against those indulging in creating and spreading fake news in the State.

Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “Fake news is not just a matter of harm or good to any individual, organization or government, we must recognize that it is a disaster that affects society as a whole. The spread of fake news endangers democracy itself. There have been instances where even the traditional media, which we consider to be experts in pursuing political goals and sometimes increasing circulation, have engaged in such activities. The government would like to keep a tab on fake news without infringing upon the rights and freedom of media. Mainstream media organisations should ensure that they won’t publish fake news.”
Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic started spreading its tentacles in the state, social media platforms were flooded with fake news and lies. The fake news related to Covid should be taken very seriously at this stage.
“This move is not targeted at any individual or organisation. It is part of our social commitment, a move to protect the lives and property of our citizens. I request all media outlets that uphold media ethics and morality to fully cooperate in this fight against fake news”, the CM added.
The objective of the anti-fake news division is to bust fake news, share authentic government information, create educational content that encourages people to be more alert and sensitive to misinformation and they work closely with the Police department to bring the culprits to book.