Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 17 (IANS) Even as festivities for the hugely popular Onam were set to begin, the Covid test positivity rate in Kerala stayed high, reaching 15.48 per cent on Tuesday.
A statement issued here by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 21,613 people turned Covid positive after 1,39,623 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.
Onam is the traditional harvest festival of Kerala and is celebrated by all irrespective of caste, creed or religion. With the entire trading community up in arms forcing the state government to allow them to do their business, save in areas where 'triple lockdown' norms are in force, life in all sectors is almost back to normal despite the Covid threat.
The three-day Onam festivities begin on Friday and the state government has banned all public activities and have asked people to maintain absolute caution.
Tuesday also saw 18,556 people turn negative, taking the total active cases in the state to 1,75,167, while another 127 Covid deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 18,870.
Malappuram district continues to lead the state with 3,193 cases followed by Ernakulam with 2,643.