Amid reporting high Covid-19 cases for a few weeks now, Kerala on Sunday again reported over 20,000 more virus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of the state to 43,75,431, according to the daily health bulletin. 

Along with that, the state also reported 67 more virus-related fatalities in the 24-hour period, pushing the death toll to 22,551, it added. 

The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was recorded at 17.51 per cent after testing 1,15,575 samples in the last 24 hours, a state government release said. The bulletin also said that since Saturday, 29,710 people recovered from the infection taking the total number to 41,30,065 and the number of active cases to 2,22,255. 

Among the 14 districts, Ernakulam recorded the highest number of cases with 2,572 followed by Thrissur 2,451, Thiruvananthapuram 1,884, Kozhikode 1,805, Kottayam 1,780, Kollam 1,687, Palakkad 1,644, Malappuram 1,546, Kannur 1,217 and Alappuzha 1,197, the release said. Of the new cases, 101 were health workers, 114 from outside the state and 19,251 infected through contact, with the source of the contact not being clear in 774 cases, it said. There are currently 6,03,315 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 5,72,761 are in home or institutional quarantine and 30,554 in hospitals. 

Apart from the pandemic, the southern state is also dealing with the emergence of the highly deadly Nipah virus, which resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy in Kozhikode. 

Earlier today, the samples of four close contacts of the child who succumbed to Nipah virus infection last week has returned negative, but the source was yet to be identified and the government was according top priority to it, Kerala health minister Veena George. 

“Four samples of the close contacts of the child were tested again for confirmation. All were tested negative. Our field surveillance is continuing along with the fever surveillance. The sample testing is also continuing in the epicenter of the infection,” she told reporters. 

She said it was important to identify the source of infection and the surveillance team from the National Institute of Virology, Pune,has been collecting samples from various areas. “The high risk contacts have been isolated in the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital. Their health condition is stable. It’s important that we identify the source of the infection. We are trying to. The Pune NIV team is collecting samples from various parts to identify the source,” she said. 

The state government had conducted a complete house-to-house survey within a three-km-radius from the house of the 12-year-old boy who succumbed to Nipah virus on September 5, as part of it’s fever surveillance. The government had earlier stated that around 15,000 houses from the containment zone were included in the survey and details were sought from around 68,000 people.

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