Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 18 (IANS): The daily Covid positive cases in Kerala continue to rise as 28,481 people turned positive from 80,740 samples tested, taking the positivity rate (TPR) to 35.27 per cent on Tuesday, state Health Minister Veena George said in a statement.
She said that Thiruvananthapuram district saw 6,911 positive cases, the highest-ever daily number.
According to the statement, there are 1,42,512 active cases in the state of which 3.4 per cent of the patients are in hospitals, while 39 fresh deaths were reported, taking the total death toll in the state to 51,026.
On the vaccination front, 99.8 per cent (2.67 crore) have had one dose, of which 83 per cent (2.21 crore) have taken both doses.
Likewise in the 15-18-year group, 55 per cent (8.31 lakh) have been given one dose and starting Wednesday, over 900 schools in the state will function as vaccination centres to vaccinate the remaining students.
Thiruvananthapuram district saw one of the highest TPR of 48 per cent, which implies almost one in two people who underwent the test turned positive, forcing authorities to clamp strict adherence to Covid protocols.
The offices of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and three other ministers have reported many of the staff members turning positive, forcing their partial closure.
"Things are serious so all should strictly adhere to Covid protocols and violations will be strictly proceeded against. The numbers prescribed for weddings and funerals should be followed," said state Transport Minister Antony Raju, after a meeting of authorities.
Howver, the ruling CPI-M is continuing with its district party meetings and that has come under heavy attack as there are dance programmes and musical programmes besides crowding of leaders and party members.
"It seems there are two sets of rules in Covid, one for the people and the other one for the CPI-M. Just see how many people have turned positive after attending the Thiruvananthapuram district CPI-M meetings. For weddings and funerals, only 50 are allowed and see the dance, and musical troupe performances and the numbers at their party meetings. They have become the 'merchants of death' by spreading Covid," said Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan.