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Home >News >India >Covid-19: Kerala confirms 11 new cases, to hold back salaries

ERNAKULAM : Kerala on Wednesday confirmed 11 new cases and only one recovery, announced the state's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. This is the second consecutive day where the state is reporting more infections than recoveries, a worrying trend in one of the few Indian states that have significantly flattened the infection curve.

Kerala has seen more than 70% recoveries out of its total 437 cases recorded so far. But after dipping for weeks until the weekend, fresh patients rose up this week to reach 127 active patients as on Wednesday.

Five of the new patients are foreign returnees and three were infected through contacts, said the chief minister. Another patient is a health worker, and two others are house surgeons in a public-run hospital who came from another state by train.

Kerala also decided to withhold six-day salaries of government staffers, spread through five months, in view of the financial crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the CM said. "Our own revenues have become almost negligible. Six-day salaries will be held back every month. It will not be applicable to people who draw a salary of less than 20000 every month. There will be a 30 percent pay cut for a period of one year for Ministers, MLAs, members of various Boards, and local body representatives. Several honorariums paid by the public purse will be reduced for a year, except for health workers," he said.

The majority of the fresh patients, seven in total, of the day were in the most-infected hotspot Kannur district, official estimates said. "Kannur will remain fully sealed. Even in non-hotspots, we are requesting people to not venture out for non-essential travel," the CM said.

Two of the other fresh cases were reported in Kozhikode, and one each in Kottayam and Malappuram. The people in observation in Kerala have dropped from more than one lakh in end-March to 29,109 as of Tuesday. Out of them, 346 are in hospitals. Meanwhile, partly seen as a reason for the rising numbers, Kerala's testing figures have gone up considerably. The state has tested 20821 samples so far, out of which 19998 tested as negative, the CM said.

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