Kerala’s daily COVID-19 figures saw a sharp spike on Tuesday with a record 608 cases taking the infection tally to 8,930 and the death toll rising to 34 with one more fatality. Kerala has reached a stage where clusters have been found in Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram and some other districts and the next stage is community transmission, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, stressing the need to be extremely vigilant to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The Nipah virus, which hit the state in 2018 and claimed 17 lives, could be contained in a month’s time but the battle against COVID-19 began six months ago was still continuing, he noted. It was expected that the disease will be around till the year end, Vijayan said after a COVID-19 review meeting here.

The state had only 12 active cases in May first week but has seen a steady increase in the last two months. The capital city accounted for the highest number of 201 cases on Tuesday with those infected through contact touching 152.

A 47-year-old man from Alappuzha, who had returned from Saudi Arabia recently, succumbed to the disease, taking the toll to 34. Of the positive cases, 130 people had come from abroad, 68 from other states and 396, including eight health workers, were infected through contact, Vijayan said. The source of infection of 26 people had not been traced so far, he added.

The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) continued to reel under the virus attack with a total of 130 personnel in the state being infected as on Tuesday. Vijayan said state Director General of Police Loknath Behera has informed the ITBP Director General of the situation.

On Monday, as many as 77 jawans of the ITBP were infected. Of the fresh cases on Tuesday, Ernakulam clocked 70 infections followed by Kozhikode 58 and Kasaragod 44 among the districts with higher daily count. Over 1.80 lakh people are under observation and 4,736 are in hospitals, including 720 admitted on Tuesday. As many as 181 were discharged with 4,454 people undergoing treatment.

As the cases were increasing, IAS officers have been appointed in all the 14 districts to help the district administration,the Chief Minister said, adding 227 hotspots were there in the state now.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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