Thirty nine people tested positive for Coronavirus in Kerala on Friday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day. Of these, Kasaragod, a district at the northern tip of Kerala, reported 34 cases, while two were reported at Kannur and one each in Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kollam, taking the total of those who tested positive in the coastal state to 164.
Twelve people, including the three students who returned form China's Wuhan, have recovered. Kasaragod, which has 78 positive cases at present, is turning into a new hotspot in the state.
Of the 39 confirmed cases on Friday, 25 cases were of people who returned from Dubai while 13 cases were through contact tracing of patients who tested positive. The source for one patient is yet to be confirmed.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said one of the confirmed cases from Idukki is a "politician who travelled from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram extensively attending funerals, meeting MLAs and top politicians, for days".
He also termed the situation as serious, with all 14 districts in the state now having positive cases. Presently there are 110,299 people who are under observation including 616 at various hospitals.
On Kasaragod - the district with the maximum cases, Mr Vijayan said, "Kannur Medical College hospital with 200 beds, 40 ICU beds and 15 ventilators, is being designated as Covid Hospital. Steps are being taken to enable testing at the Kasargod Central University which would be converted to a Covid Primary Care Centre. The Kasaragod Medical College hospital will also be made into a Covid Hospital. The State government will explore all available options for the treatment of affected patients including Cuban medicine after getting necessary approvals from the Drugs Controller".
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, during his daily press briefing, also criticised the Karnataka government for blocking the border making life difficult for residents of Kasaragod to move to Mangaluru for treatment, especially those seeking dialysis.
"The situation is such it is strange that they have blocked the borders using sand and stones, which is not a good thing. There might arise situation for either of the state to go this side or that side. Now we have been told that they will remove it, according to our Chief Secretary," said Mr Vijayan, adding that this will be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.
Left-ruled state which has announced Rs 20,000 crore relief and support package, free rations for all and food for needy during 21-day lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus.
India saw the highest jump in coronavirus or COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours with 149 patients testing positive for the highly contagious illness in different parts of the country.