Press Release:28-09-2020

Kerala Covid-19 Tracker
4,538 new cases & 3,347 recoveries today, total 57,879 patients under treatment
1,79,922 total Covid cases till now

Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that 4,538 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Kerala today. At present, there are 57,879 patients under treatment for the disease. 4,246 are cases of local transmission with the source of infection unknown in 249 cases. 67 healthcare workers were among those infected. 20 deaths were also reported. At the same time, 3,347 patients have recovered from Coronavirus today.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “Covid is rapidly spreading in our State and we had a record increase in the number of new cases in the last week. Till now, the total number of confirmed Covid cases in the State is 1,79,922. Kozhikode district continues to have the maximum number of new cases and is the worst affected district.”
Meanwhile, the deceased are Karunakaran Nair (79) , Balakrishnan (85) & Vijayamma (68) from Thiruvananthapuram district, Venu (40) & Radhakrishnan (69) from Alappuzha district; Haseena (48), Shine Surabhi (44) & Maniyappan (63) from Kottayam district; Aisha (77), Mammad (74) & Lirar (68) from Malappuram district; K N Nazir (42), Moidu (66), Aboobacker (66), Kunjabdulla (70) & Mohammad Shaji (53) from Kozhikode district, and Fathima (80), Aizamma (58), Kamala (60) & Sundaran (61) from Kasargod district. This takes the Covid related death toll in the State to 697.
The district-wise figures for the new positive cases are Kozhikode 918, Ernakulam 537, Thiruvananthapuram 486, Malappuram 405, Thrissur 383, Palakkad 378, Kollam 341, Kannur 310, Alappuzha 249, Kottayam 213, Kasaragod 122, Idukki 114, Wayanad 44 and Pathanamthitta 38. Of those diagnosed today, 47 have come back from foreign countries and 166 from other states.
The count of those infected through contact from the districts are Kozhikode 908, Ernakulam 504, Thiruvananthapuram 463, Malappuram 389, Thrissur 372, Palakkad 307, Kollam 340, Kannur 256, Alappuzha 239, Kottayam 208, Kasaragod 111, Idukki 76, Wayanad 42 and Pathanamthitta 31.
The numbers of infected healthcare workers district-wise are Kannur 20, Thiruvananthapuram 17, Ernakulam 9, Kozhikode 6, Thrissur 5, Kasaragod 3; Alappuzha, Kottayam & Malappuram 2, and Wayanad 1. 12 INHS personnel in Ernakulam district were also infected.
The district-wise numbers of the patients who tested negative today are Thiruvananthapuram 506, Kollam 182, Pathanamthitta 150, Alappuzha 349, Kottayam 122, Idukki 36, Ernakulam 220, Thrissur 240, Palakkad 200, Malappuram 421, Kozhikode 645, Wayanad 63, Kannur 124 and Kasaragod 89.
Presently, there are 57,879 patients undergoing treatment in the State while a total of 1,21,268 people have so far been recovered from Covid.
There are 2,32,450 persons under observation across the state, 2,03,330 under home or institutional quarantine and 29,120 in hospitals. 3,255 people were admitted to the hospitals today.
36,027 samples were tested during the last 24 hours. A total of 28,04,319 samples have so far been sent for testing, including 2,02,157 samples from high-risk groups as part of Sentinel Surveillance.
15 new places were demarcated as hotspots today while 10 were excluded from the list. Currently, there are 660 hotspots in Kerala.
Kerala to allow Sabarimala pilgrimage complying Covid norms: Chief Minister
Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today announced that the government has decided to conduct the forthcoming Mandala Makaravilak pilgrimage season for a limited number of pilgrims by following the Covid norms. The pilgrimage season is from November 15, 2020 to January 20, 2021.
Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said, “Sabarimala is the most important pilgrimage centre in our State but in the wake of the Covid pandemic, it has been decided to hold this year’s Mandala Makaravilak pilgrimage with a limited number of pilgrims without symbolically reducing any rituals.”
A committee consisting of the Chief Secretary, the Chief of the State Police, and the Principal Secretaries of the Home, Devaswom, Forest and Health Departments shall examine and report on all matters relating thereto, including the number of pilgrims per day from each State. The Chief Secretary will also decide on the inclusion of more departmental secretaries in the committee if required. These officials will also discuss the arrangements with their counterparts in Andhra, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, from where the maximum pilgrims come to Sabarimala.
The CM informed that the admission to Sabarimala this year will be strictly regulated through the VirtualQ system of Kerala Police to a limited number of pilgrims. Arrangements will be made for the pilgrims who register through the virtual queue system. Those above the age of 65 and below 10 will not be allowed. Pilgrims should come with Covid negative certificate. To ensure that Covid patients do not reach for pilgrimage, antigen tests will also be conducted at various centres with the help of the health department.
Pilgrims will have to start their return journey immediately after performing the darshan at Sabarimala. They will not be allowed to stay back in Pampa and Sannidhanam. Drinking water will be provided in steel containers for a refundable cost of Rs.100, on the return of the container. Annadanam will be only for limited pilgrims and will be served on paper plates.  
Consumerfed and Supplyco will set up shops for selling essential items. KSRTC will run special services and deploy more buses to maintain social distancing norms. Special arrangements will be made to collect ghee for anointing at a place designated by the Devaswom Board.
“The health department will examine the health aspect of making the mask mandatory when devotees climb the mountain. As public bathing in the river cannot be allowed, sprinkler or shower system will be installed for bathing at Pampa and Erumeli. The Thiruvabharana procession in connection with the Makaravilakku will be conducted in full compliance with the Covid protocol”, the CM added.
Strict compliance with Covid protocol necessary to control outbreak: CM
Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today said that strict compliance with the Covid protocol was necessary to control the outbreak of the pandemic in the State and strict action including higher penalties would be charged against those who violate Covid norms.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “Since the first case was reported in the State, we were far ahead in controlling the spread of the disease but now that situation is beginning to change. On an average, the number of patients is doubling in every 20 days. The case per million in Kerala is 5,143 as compared to the national average of 5,852. However, the case fatality rate is much better than the national average. While the national average is 1.6%, here it is only 0.4% but this will increase according to the rise in the number of patients. Patients are benefiting from the excellent care and facilities that we provide but we have to make arrangements to accommodate the rising numbers. So it’s imperative that we keep the numbers from not going beyond what we can manage.”
Strict action will be taken against those not following social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory and those who don’t wear masks in public will be strictly penalised. Shop owners will have to ensure they comply with the Covid norms and action will be taken against shop owners also if norms are violated. The restrictions of 50 people for marriage functions and 20 for funerals should be strictly followed.
The CM also informed that gazetted officers in Government service will be assigned with special powers to help in supervising Covid related work in all LSG bodies. “An all-party meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss the current situation in the State, and also to request their cooperation and support in containing the outbreak.”