Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 29 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday announced a change in the funeral protocol for Covid victims, with relatives now being permitted to see the body and perform limited religious rites, all within an hour.
"Family members and relatives are unable to pay their last respects to those who died of COVID-19. This is adding to emotional distress. To address it, the bodies of those who died of COVID-19 will be allowed to be taken home. The body can be kept for up to one hour," he said.
He also informed that the banks have been directed to halt the revenue recovery proceedings of Covid victims who have defaulted on bank loans.
Meanwhile, Kerala has extended the lockdown restrictions in the state for one more week.
"Today's review meeting has decided to make small changes in the classification of areas according to the spread of the disease," Chief Minister said addressing a press meet.
The Local Self Government bodies have been reclassified on the basis of the average test-positivity rate (TPR) for the last seven days.
Accordingly, there are 165 local bodies in the A category (TPR less than 6 per cent), 473 in the B category (6-12 per cent TPR), 316 in the C category (12-18 per cent TPR), and 80 in the D category (TPR more than 18 per cent).
The new restrictions would come into effect from Thursday, July 1, Vijayan said.
"The average TPR is still above 10 per cent but has gone down from a high of 29.75per cent. The expected progress in TPR decline is not visible. The lockdown cannot continue all the time that is why the relaxations were allowed, but there is concern that TPR is not falling below 10 per cent. Statistics from the past week indicate that there is no considerable decline in the number of patients. We expect the TPR to decrease gradually," he said.
He further added that there are many non-infected people in Kerala, as the speed of transmission was well controlled in the first wave.
"According to the Sero Survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), only about 11 per cent of people in Kerala were infected during the first wave, as against the national average of 21 per cent. The delta variant is spreading as part of the second wave. Although the disease spread faster than the first wave, we were able to contain the wave in a way that our health systems could accommodate it better," he said.
13,550 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Kerala today from 1,23,225 sample tests in the last 24 hours with a TPR of 11 per cent.
At the same time, 104 recent deaths were confirmed due to Covid and the related death toll in the state is now 13,093. Today, 10,283 patients recovered from the disease, and at present, there are 99,174 persons undergoing treatment in Kerala.
Malappuram district has the highest number of 1,708 new active cases. (ANI)