The Covid crisis in Kerala, where a state-wide lockdown was clamped from last Saturday, refused to relent with 39,955 people turning positive on Thursday after 1,39,656 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.
A statement from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office said the total number of active cases stood at 4,38,913 cases.
While Kerala all this while claimed to keep the number of dead on account to the least, fatalities were rising during the second wave with 97 deaths, the highest single-day tally, on Thursday, taking the total toll to 6,150.
Meanwhile, 33,733 people turned negative, taking the total cured in the state to 16,05,471.
During the same time last year, there were less than a dozen positive cases in Kerala, while in the past one week, the number of daily cases is, on an average, around 30,000.
It remains to be seen what the decision of Vijayan would be when the high-level committee sits down in the coming days to decide on what needs to be done - whether to extend the lockdown or make any changes.
Vijayan on Wednesday indicated that the lockdown would be extended for another week.
With May 20 fixed for swearing-in of Vijayan for the second term, it is understood that it would see just 750 people allowed for the function to take place at the Central Stadium, next door to the state Secretariat.
Across the state, there were 10,02,443 under observation which included 35,101 in hospitals.
Ernakulam, the business capital of the state, continues to lead with 68,727 cases - the highest number of active cases, followed by Thrissur with 55,727, and Malappuram with 50,741 cases.
Following requests made to Centre, the daily supply of oxygen to Kerala was increased from 150 MT to 358 MT.
The famed Sabarimala temple, which opens for the monthly prayers on May 15, said due to the lockdown and the Covid spread, devotees will not be allowed entry but all the rituals will be conducted. The temple will close on the May 22.
Meanwhile, with heavy rains predicted in the coming two days, the Health Department is making final checks to the infrastructure, especially engaging new generators at all the health centres, as along with rains, heavy winds are also expected, leading to possible power outage.
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