Kerala reported 14,233 new COVID cases and 15,355 recoveries on Friday. With this, the number of active COVID cases in the state fell to 1,34,001.
So far, 25,57,597 have been cured of the disease.
Of the new cases, 13,433 contracted the virus through contact while 108 came from outside the state and 66 are healthcare workers.
Sending out a sense of relief to the people of the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said Kerala has started overcoming the threats posed by the second wave of COVID-19.
He said the state-wide lockdown, which has been in force in the state for the past few weeks, has been effective. “Number of new cases and the rate of infection have come down significantly,” he said.
Compared to other regions, the death rate has also come down in the state, the chief minister said during his sunset press briefing on the pandemic situation.
Pinarayi, however, said it was not yet time for total relief.
The test positivity rate (TPR) in the state is 13.29.
Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the State could only consider relaxing lockdown restrictions once the TPR falls below 10. Kerala is under a state-wide lockdown until June 16.
Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam among worst-hit districts
Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kollam districts reported the most cases - 2060, 1629 and 1552 respectively.
The chief minister said it was a matter of concern that the number of cases in Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kasaragod districts was still remaining high.
TPR has dipped only slightly in these districts.
“Our aim is to bring the TPR below 10 per cent in these districts. Efforts are on to achieve this. The local bodies with a higher number of patients have to intervene more,” the CM said.
COVID deaths, quarantine and testing
A total of 173 COVID deaths too were confirmed on Friday.
With this, the COVID death toll in the state rose to 10,804.
The CM said the government's focus is to delay the next possible wave of virus spread. The death rate will increase if the third wave is not delayed as much as possible, he said.
There are currently 5,62,253 people under observation across the state.
Of them, 5,30,743 are under home or institutional quarantine while 31,510 are in hospitals.
A total of 1,07,096 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. So far, 2,10,17,514 samples have been sent for testing.
On Kerala's vaccination drive
The CM said over 25 per cent of the population has been given the first dose of vaccination so far.
“Only the doses for a couple of days are remaining in the state. However, we are carrying forward with the vaccination procedure with the hope that the Centre would provide the vaccine for the coming days,” he said.
He said all employees of the secretariat, including ministers' staff, vaccinated in the priority category as more staff will have to attend duty after June 16.
The government has decided not to make it mandatory for people who have taken two doses of vaccines to produce its certificate while travelling.
Stating that the next two days (Saturday and Sunday) are crucial in the fight against Covid, the CM urged the people to follow the restrictions of weekend lockdown strictly. Only essential services will be allowed on the two days.
Here's the district-wise break-up of today's cases:
Thiruvananthapuram 2060 (contact cases - 1966)
Ernakulam 1629 (1592)
Kollam 1552 (1546)
Malappuram 1413 (1375)
Palakkad 1355 (919)
Thrissur 1291 (1275)
Kozhikode 1006 (1000)
Alappuzha 845 (842)
Kannur 667 (613)
Kottayam 662 (635)
Idukki 584 (559)
Kasaragod 499 (481)
Pathanamthitta 479 (466)
Wayanad 191 (164)
Here's the district-wise break-up of today's recoveries: