Continuing the trend of rising infections, Kerala said it has 49 new covid-19 cases, and 12 recoveries, on Monday. For the first time, the government said in a statement, it has two prisoners as patients.
Kerala has had 894 total recorded cases so far, out of which 359 are active cases and 532 have recovered. Six covid-19 patients died in Kerala so far, including a Puducherry native who died while undergoing treatment in the state. The Puducherry native is counted as one of the state's fatalities tally by the center, but not by the state government.
Most of the fresh cases, 43 in total, have a travel history. While 18 of the new patients are returnees from other countries, 25 returned from other states recently, according to the state health department. Six people were infected through contacts, including the prisoners who were under remand for smuggling illicit liquor in Kannur district.
Hundreds of police personnel and a magistrate who had was in contact with the two prisoners were put in home-quarantine following the incident. National-award winning Malayalam movie actor Suraj Venjaramoodu and D K Murali, a legislator from the capital Thiruvananthapuram's Vamanapuram, were also sent to home quarantine because of the incident, since a circle inspector who was in touch with the prisoners had attended a public event hosted by them.
Another new patient is a healthcare worker in Thiruvananthapuram, continuing the worrying trend of more health workers getting infected in Kerala. Over the last two weeks, nearly a dozen health workers have been infected.
Monday's is the third-largest spike in infections in Kerala. It is also the fourth consecutive day of rising infections that has drastically reversed its earlier success with flattening the infection curve. The state had 53 fresh cases on Sunday, 42 on Saturday and 62 on Friday, its biggest tally yet. The infections started peaking from 7 May onwards— on 8 May it had just 16 active cases— when the state relaxed norms for international and interstate travel.
Of Monday's fresh cases, 14 are from Kasaragod district, 10 from Kannur, five each from Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, four from Kozhikode, three each from Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha, two each from Kollam and Kottayam and one from Idukki, said the health department.
Kerala's government has openly embraced returnees from other states and countries despite the risk involved and so far 97,247 people have returned, said the government. Of them, 82,678 came by road, 8,390 came by flights, 4,558 by trains and 1,621 by ships, it said.
The state has 99,278 people under observation till date, 792 of them hospitalised and the rest in home quarantine. On Monday, 152 people were hospitalised.
The government said it has tested 54,899 samples so far, and 53,704 yielded negative results. As part of sentinel surveillance of frontline workers such as medical staffers and cops, 8,110 people tested and 7,994 were negative for infection, it added. Four more hotspots were added to the list of containment zones on Monday, making total hotspots to 59 in the state.