4,892 new cases in State

Test positivity rate at 6.99%

February 17, 2021 08:36 pm | Updated 08:36 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala reported 4,892 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday when 69,953 samples were tested over the past 24 hours, taking the State’s cumulative case burden to 10,16,848 cases. The test positivity rate fell to 6.99% .

Of the samples tested, 43,702 were rapid antigen assay while the RT-PCR tests numbered 24,052. Despite its intention to raise the number of tests substantially, with 70% RT-PCR tests, districts have not been able to increase their RT PCR testing capacity. Other molecular diagnostic tests such as Truenat, CBNAAT, constituted the remaining tests.

With the State reporting 4,832 recoveries on Wednesday, the active case pool of the State, which has been dropping steadily, now stood at 60,803. The cumulative recoveries reported till date has risen to 9,51,742.

Death toll

On Wednesday, 16 more deaths were added to the official list of COVID fatalities, taking the toll to 4,032 deaths.

Thiruvananthapuram reported four deaths, Thrissur three, Kottayam, Wayanad and Alappuzha two each while Ernakulam, Palakkad and Kozhikode reported one death each.

As on Wednesday, official reports said that the number of critically ill COVID patients being treated in ICUs in various hospitals across the State was 746 with 218 of them requiring ventilator support

Among districts, Kollam reported 552 cases, Pathanamthitta 546, Ernakulam 519, Kottayam 506, Kozhikode 486, Thrissur 442, Thiruvananthapuram 344, Alappuzha 339, Malappuram 332, Kannur 284, Idukki 185, Wayanad 144 Palakkad 140, and Kasaragod 73 cases.

‘Good sign’

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, speaking to the media here on Wednesday, said that COVID cases in the State seemed to be on a downward trend. From last week, there was a drop in active cases by 6.3 %, which was indeed a good sign, he said.

Vaccination has a huge role in reducing the disease transmission in the community and the public should have no reservations on taking the vaccines, all of which have been made available for the general public after scientific confirmation of its efficacy and safety, Mr. Vijayan said.

He said that unfounded facts on COVID vaccination were emerging from some quarters, raising public apprehensions. Such activities which can negatively impact public health will not be allowed, he said.

He also dismissed reports in some sections of the media about “dangerous virus mutations” in the State and said that Kerala was already doing genomic surveillance studies and that there were no official reports of any dangerous variants in the State.

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