Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 29 (ANI): As Kerala on Thursday reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day and the state now accounting for over 50 per cent of all new infections in the country, Health Minister Veena George said that cases are high as efforts are on to increase testing to "identify every single positive case."
"We are conducting maximum tests these days. Yesterday we conducted over 1.96 lakh tests, today we did more than 1.63 lakh tests. So, we are trying to do more tests. We want to identify every single positive case" the minister told reporters here.
"We want to trace all positive cases because we want to reduce the cases and also want to make sure that there is no third wave. We want to bring the situation under control, so we are doing the maximum number of tests, that's why positive cases are more these days," she added.
Meanwhile, the state health minister has alleged that there is a "planned (misinformation) campaign" against the state. She quoted a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which said that 44.4 per cent of people in the state had antibodies against the Covid virus which she said showed Kerala's preventive mechanism was "very good."
"There is a planned campaign against Kerala. All experts in different states say that we have a very good defence mechanism. Seroprevalence study by ICMR shows that almost 44 per cent of people have antibodies in them, shows that our preventive mechanism was very good. More than 50 per cent population is still unaffected," George said.
"The type of Coronavirus which is spreading in this phase is the Delta virus, the infectability is more. So, naturally, we are trying our best," she added.
The state logged 22,064 new COVID-19 cases today and its test positivity rate, the percentage of people in a group testing positive for the virus, climbed to 13.53 per cent.
The situation has prompted the Union government to rush a six-member central team to the state even as the state government announced a complete lockdown on July 31 and August 1.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family and Welfare, there are 1,50,040 active cases in the state, while 31,60,804 people have recovered from the disease. However, the death toll has mounted to 16,457.
Regarding reports of Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writing to the Kerala government on "super spreader events" observed in the state recently George said, "I have no information about that letter. There is no such communication. I don't know because I'm not aware of that. I think that he (State Health Secretary) has not received any such letter from Union Health Secretary."
Speaking about the Kerala Government's decision to continue with the complete lockdown on the Weekend she said that it's a collective decision.
Further, the state health minister said five more Zika virus cases were reported in Kerala today, taking the total number of the mosquito-borne infection cases to 61 in the state. There are 7 active cases. (ANI)