Kerala reported an all-time high in daily COVID-19 cases with 41,953 infections in the last 24 hours, pushing the caseload to 17,43,932 the state health department said on Thursday. A slight dip, however, was witnessed in the positivity rate which stood at 25.69 per cent.
The test positivity rate was 26.08 per cent on Tuesday, 27.01 per cent on Monday and 28.37 per cent on Sunday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Tuesday that the cases could soar further due to the high Test Positivity Rate in the state.
"The TPR is still high, indicating that it will take some more time for the disease to reach its peak in Kerala.This needs to be reduced significantly," he said.
While a total of 13.62 lakh people have been cured of the disease, the total fatalities mounted to 5,565 with 58 more deaths in a day in Kerala.
In view of the rise in the cases, the Chief Minister said that more stringent measures will have to be taken to curb the surge in Kerala which is already under lockdown-like restrictions.
As the demand for imposition of a country-wide lockdown gains momentum, large parts of India, including Delhi and Maharashtra are already under similar strict curbs for varying periods in a bid to check the unrelenting COVID wave.
Earlier in the day, the government's top scientific adviser warned of a third wave of the coronavirus as officials said a national lockdown was being discussed as the raging second wave of the pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals leading to shortages of drugs, oxygen and other medical equipment.
"Phase 3 (third wave) is inevitable, given the high levels at which this virus is circulating. But it is not clear at what time scale this Phase 3 will occur," Dr K VijayRaghavan said at a government briefing.