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No Fresh Coronavirus Cases in Kerala for Second Day, Over 25,000 Under Scanner

Image for representation.(Reuters)

Image for representation.(Reuters)

The total number of cases tested positive so far in the state was 24, including two foreigners - an Italian and another from the UK.

There has been no fresh positive case of coronavirus for the second consecutive day in Kerala on Wednesday, even as over 25,000 people have been brought under survillence.

At least 25,603 people are under observation, 237 in hospitals and the remaining in home quarantine, while 7,861 people were brought under observation on Wednesday and 57 admitted to various hospitals in the state.

"We need to be extremely vigilant. Let us not let down our guard in any way," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a review meeting.

Of the 2,550 samples of suspect cases sent for testing, 2,140 have been negative.

The total number of cases tested positive so far in the state was 24, including two foreigners - an Italian and another from the UK.

Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and family health centres should have their OPs till evening and presence of doctors should be ensured at such centres, Vijayan said.

A video conference was held with religious heads here about the precautions that need to be taken during religious gathering in places of worship.

The Chief minister said the rituals can be held, but under the present circumstances gathering of a large number of people in places of worship needs to be avoided.

"We have made an appeal to avoid such gatherings. Everyone has promised total cooperation", he said.

In mosques during the Friday prayers and Sunday mass at churches, a lot of people gather. So, there is a need to avoid such large gatherings, he said.

This is also the time of various temple festivities and pongalas. All festivals need to be restricted.

Only the rituals need be held and presence of large number of people should be avoided to ensure that the virus does not spread.

Pointing that the Kodungalloor Bharani festival in Thrissur is slated to be held in two days time in which there is a massive convergence of people from various districts, Vijayan urged people to avoid their participation this year considering the present crisis.

The state government also appealed to people to desist from participating in the Bharani festival.

Let the rituals be held, but people should keep away, he said.

Vijayan referred to Pathnamthitta district where it has been decided that not more than 10 people should participate in religious functions; in Kozhikode, a mosque has decided that Friday namaz would not be held from this week.

In all districts, COVID-19 care centres would be opened and various hotels and lodges can be used for the purpose.

Asked if bars and outlets would be shut in view of the present situation, Vijayan said instructions have been given to ensure that bars are kept clean and those unwell should not visit these places.

Excise department has been asked to ensure space between tables.

Taking into account the present situation in the state following COVID-19, health minsiter, K K Shailaja on Wednesday asked doctors and other medical staff who have gone on leave to join immediately for duty.

The primary health centres would function till 6 pm.

first published:March 18, 2020, 22:54 IST