As Onam comes to an end in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the increased contact among people during these festive days, may result in what he called "Onam Clusters" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The next two weeks are 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 Covid cases," Mr Vijayan said.
The state's Test Positivity Rate is over 8, a significant increase, according to the Chief Minister. For the first time, Kerala has crossed India's Test Positive Rate which was at 7.7 on Wednesday.
"The reason for the spike in Test Positivity Rate is because people were reluctant to do tests during Onam. Tests dropped during the festival season, to even 18,000. They have now been revived to 30,000 and will be hiked to 50,000. Our aim is to bring the Test Positivity Rate below 5 at this point," an official told NDTV. A low Test Positivity rate is an indication of test sufficiency, according to experts.
Kerala has a total of 79,625 COVID 19 cases, with 315 deaths. The active cases currently in the state is 21,516.