Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 4 (ANI): With the culmination of Onam in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has warned about the possibility of the formation of "Covid clusters" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The next two weeks period is crucial as we may see Onam clusters being formed in the State due to increased outdoor public activity and travel during the festival time. We can expect a hike in the Covid cases," he said.
The chief minister said that the recent reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases being detected in the state could be attributable to less number of people being tested owing to the large number of public holidays which has also resulted in less samples being tested.
"Even though the number of new Covid cases being reported in the State has come down in the last few days, the test positivity rate was much higher than the usual rate and this is a matter of concern. Moreover, the number of tests being conducted in the last few days had also come down due to reluctance of people to go in for testing during the Onam festival time and a large number of public holidays," Vijayan said briefing the media.
Vijayan further urged all residents to be vigilant and exercise all caution until a vaccine is found.
"We now need to effectively implement social vaccines like Break the Chain. Caution should be exercised in anticipation of the possibility of new clusters and increased spread of the outbreak", he said.
The CM further informed that the call for people to volunteer for COVID brigade has been met with a good response with 12,804 people having registered so far out of which 6,236 are medical professionals.
"All these registered people will be kept ready as a reserve force. If the number of cases increases as predicted by experts, their services can be used in hospitals and Covid First-Line Treatment Centres," Vijayan said.
The Kerala CM also announced the setting up of the first Open University of the state at Kollam as a tribute to Sree Narayana Guru, the implementer of non- formal education and the beacon of renaissance movement in the region. (ANI)