5,397 reported positive in State

Kerala reported 5,397 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday when 74,408 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, taking the State’s cumulative case burden to 9,94,052 cases.

While 46,097 of these tests were rapid antigen assay, RT-PCR tests numbered 25,259. Other molecular diagnostic tests like Truenat, CBNAAT , constituted the remaining tests. Despite the State’s attempts to increase RT PCR tests, there seems to be only a marginal increase in this testing modality, though some districts have managed to increase RT PCR tests to up to 45%.

The test positivity rate on the day was 7.25%. The active case pool of the State now has 63,961 persons, with the State reporting 5,332 recoveries on Friday.

The cumulative recoveries reported in Kerala till date has risen to 9,25,871. On Friday, 18 more deaths were added to the official list of COVID fatalities, taking the State’s COVID toll ever since the pandemic began to 3,954 deaths.

Thiruvananthapuram reported seven deaths, Alappuzha four, Kollam two, while Ernakulam, Kannur, Thrissur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode reported one death each.

As on Friday, official reports said that the number of critically ill COVID patients being treated in ICUs in various hospitals across the State was 785 with 218 of them requiring ventilator support.

Among districts, Ernakulam again reported the maximum number of new cases with 589 cases, Kottayam 565, Pathanamthitta 542, Malappuram 529, Kozhikode 521, Kollam 506, Alappuzha 472, Thrissur 472, Thiruvananthapuram 393, Kannur 197, Idukki 189, Palakkad 149, Kasaragod 146 and Wayanad 127 cases

UK virus variant

With one more traveller from UK testing positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a total of 82 persons who reached the State from UK since mid-December have tested positive for COVID-19. Official reports said that 70 of them had since tested negative.

So far, only 10 persons had tested positive for the virus variant B.1.1.7 first reported in UK and said to be highly transmissible.

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