As Kerala’s Test Positivity Rate (TPR) has come down to under 7% for the first time in months, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed there is a slight decrease in Covid-19 cases in the state.
On Friday, Vijayan said that Covid testing has increased in Kerala. On February 1, Kerala had collected 33,579 samples but, on February 5, the state collected 91,931 samples. The decision to increase testing in Kerala came after the Centre sent experts recommended that more RT-PCR testing must take place. Reportedly, the state has conducted more antigen tests daily than RT-PCR tests.
Kerala reported 5,610 positive Covid-19 cases on Friday. Considering the increase in testing, Kerala’s TPR on Friday was 6.10%, the lowest since November 2020. The state also witnessed 6,653 recoveries and 19 deaths.
Vijayan said, “More number of cases are reported among family members in Kerala. This must be viewed seriously. Those testing positive are not quarantining properly at home.”
Earlier, the Union Health Ministry said that Kerala and Maharashtra are contributing to 70% of daily infections. The Centre deployed a two-member team to Kerala. This week, the team held meetings with health officials to bring down the Covid-19 infection.
Meanwhile, India has reported 11,713 new Covid-19 positive cases on Saturday. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) announced that the new Covid cases has taken the country’s toll 1,08,14,304 and the total current active cases stand at 1,48,590. The Indian Council of Medical Research announced, “A total of 20,06,72,590 samples up to February 5. Of these samples, 7,40,794 samples were tested yesterday.”
The country also reported 14,488 recoveries taking the recovery toll to 1,05,10,796. India also witnessed 95 deaths due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,54,918.
The country has vaccinated 54,16,849 people for Covid-19. On Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha that the third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination for citizens above the age of 50 years and those under 50 years with serious morbidities would commence in March.
Meanwhile, the Indian drug regulator’s expert committee has denied permission for the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Reportedly, the committee had not given permission for the vaccine due to the absence of local clinical trial data. However, reports emerged that Pfizer withdrew its emergency use approval application for the Covid vaccine.