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Kerala tightens Covid restrictions as test positivity rate rise

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) | July 23, 2021 10:15:08 PM IST
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday announced the further tightening of restrictions in the state with an increase in the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the last few days.

Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, "In the context of the Covid spread, Central and State Government Offices, Public Offices, Public Sector Undertakings, Companies, Commissions, and Corporation offices in Category A and B local bodies can function with up to 50 per cent of staff and up to 25 per cent in Category C areas. Only essential services will operate in Category D. The remaining 50 per cent staff A and B places and 75 per cent in C, and officers from all sectors should be involved in Covid prevention activities."

He said district collectors should take the initiative to give them the responsibility for the work.

"Since only essential services operate in the D category, the vast majority of employees will be part of the preventive measures. Areas with a high prevalence of the disease are considered clusters. At the same time, a micro-containment system will be introduced," he said. The Chief Minister added that vaccination should be combined with contact tracing and testing.

"Kerala has already been assessed nationally as an effective vaccination state. We are at the forefront of the zero waste stage and higher dose vaccination. At least 60% of the population in the community needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to the disease. A third wave is unlikely to occur if herd immunity is achieved to the required level by strictly following the Covid protocol," said Vijayan.

"The third wave will not occur naturally. It is caused by the flaws in Covid control and failures in vaccine supply. So at this stage, the state government is trying to give at least one dose of vaccination to everyone as soon as possible. Everyone should be careful to avoid small and large crowded situations where there is a risk of rapid spread due to the presence of delta virus," he added.As many as 17,518 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Kerala today from 1,28,489 sample tests in the last one day with a positivity rate of 13.63 per cent.

Meanwhile, 132 recent deaths were confirmed due to coronavirus, taking the death toll in the state to 15,871.

Today 11,067 patients tested negative having recovered from the disease. At present, there are 1,35,198 patients under treatment in the State.

The average test positivity rate for the last three days is 12.1 per cent. The positivity rate is above 10 per cent in 11 districts and Malappuram district has the highest TPR of 17 per cent.The Chief Minister informed that vaccine distribution in the state is progressing well.

"So far, 1,77,09,529 people have been vaccinated. Of these, 1,24,64,589 received a single dose of vaccine and 52,44,940 have received both doses. The Department of Health has launched a campaign to give Covid vaccine to all pregnant women. Those who can register on their own will be encouraged to do so. People who do not have access to smartphones and computers are vaccinated by registering with the help of Asha activists. So far, about 40,000 pregnant women in the state have been vaccinated," said Vijayan. (ANI)

 
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