Kerala recorded its highest single-day spike of 4,644 COVID cases on Saturday. It is the third consecutive day that the state is reporting more than 4000 cases in a day. With this, the number of active COVID cases in the state rises to 37,488.
Thiruvananthapuram district topped the list again with 824 cases while Malappuram (534), Kollam (436), Kozhikode (412), Thrissur (351) and Ernakulam (351) reported worrying trends.
Eighteen deaths too were confirmed in the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed during a press briefing from Thiruvananthapuram. This takes the COVID toll in the state to 519. More deaths were reported but the State is yet to ascertain if they are COVID deaths. Tests are underway at NIV in Alappuzha.
The fact that this unprecedented surge has come in wake of increased testing in the state offers only little respite. Contact cases continue to be the largest contributor to daily COVID counts - a clear sign that local transmission continues unabated in the state. 3,781 of the new cases were contact cases. Of them, the source of 498 is not known.
47,452 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. The State has ramped up efforts to see at least 50,000 tests done every day.
Vijayan informed that failure to follow COVID protocols during the weddings held recently in the state has led to the widespread of the virus. Nedumkandam town in Idukki district was completely shut down after around 48 people tested positive for the virus here. Twenty-eight large community clusters too have formed in Ernakulam district.
This surge in COVID cases comes just days ahead of a slew of lockdown relaxations announced by the Centre. Though the Chief Secretary has said that these guidelines will be implemented in Kerala too from September 21, there still lingers a lack of clarity over the matter.
District-wise breakup of today's positive cases:
hiruvananthapuram: 824 (contact cases - 783)
Malappuram: 534 (517)
Kollam: 436 (389)
Kozhikode: 412 (389)
Thrissur: 351 (342)
Ernakulam: 351 (320)
Palakkad: 349 (330)
Alappuzha: 348 (284)
Kottayam: 263 (260)
Kannur: 222 (199)
Pathanamthitta: 221 (176)
Kasaragod: 191 (172)
Wayanad: 95 (87)
Idukki: 47 (31)
Of the new cases, 36 came from abroad while 229 came from other states. 3,781 contracted the virus through contact.
Eighty-six health workers too have contracted the virus. They include 36 from Thiruvananthapuram, 12 from Kannur, 6 from Kollam, and 5 each from Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode, 4 from Kasaragod, and 2 each from Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Palakkad and Wayanad.
Fourteen INHS workers too tested positive for COVID-19.
2,862 recoveries were also reported in the state, Vijayan informed. With this, 92,951 have been cured of the virus.
District-wise breakup of today's recoveries:
There are currently 2,17,695 people under observation across the state. Of them, 1,92,534 are under home or institutional quarantine while 25,161 are in hospitals. A total of 3,070 people were admitted in hospitals on Saturday.
During the last 24 hours, 47,452 samples were tested. A total of 23,84,611 samples have been sent for testing so far. Also, as part of Sentinel Surveillance, 1,95,207 samples were sent for testing from priority groups.
Vijayan also hailed Kollam native Titus's miraculous escape from the vice grip of coronavirus. "Appreciate the efforts of all the health workers who treated Titus," Vijayan said.
Twenty-seven new regions were designated as hotspots on Saturday while 11 regions were excluded from the list.