Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], April 23 (ANI): A total of 28,447 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Kerala on Friday, the single-day highest ever, the state Information & Public Relations Department (IPRD) informed.
"The Covid spread in the State is severe. 1,30,617 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate is 21.78 per cent. At present, there are 1,78,983 patients under treatment. 27 deaths were also reported. A serious situation is developing in the State and strict restrictions will have to be imposed", said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while briefing the media.
Giving details about his meeting today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said, "I have updated the Prime Minister of our requirements of the vaccine but he has not responded to it. He was also informed about the preparations and steps being taken here to combat the second wave spread of Covid in the State."
Concerns were raised at the meeting that the non-availability of an affordable vaccine as this could pose a major challenge to the realisation of our goal of surviving the pandemic, said the Chief Minister, while adding that the current stock of vaccine will exhaust in two days and Kerala's need for 50 lakhs doses is justifiable. "I have requested the PM to make it available at the earliest," he said.
Vijayan further said that Kerala is of the view that the vaccine should be made available free of cost to all the states and the herd immunity should be developed at the national level.
"At the market rate of Rs 400 per dose, Rs 1,300 crores would be needed to procure 50 per cent of the required stock, as per the Centre's new vaccine policy. This would cause an additional financial burden on the State at a time when the financial resources of the State are stretched," the Chief Minister added.
He also informed that the State is following a three-pronged strategy to 'Crush the Curve'. "One, increase the number of tests to find out the maximum number of cases. Two, provide maximum treatment through Covid hospitals, First-Line Treatment Centres and home isolation. Three, bring effective regulation and specific restrictions to avoid a full lockdown and support the economy," the Chief Minister. (ANI)