Thiruvananthapuram, July 29 (IANS) The Covid pandemic is running rampant in Kerala, with over 20,000 cases seen on Thursday for the third successive day, an official statement said.
The day's figure came a day before a special team of health experts from the Centre is all set to arrive in the state capital on Friday.
As many as 22,064 people tested positive on Thursday, against 22,056 on Wednesday and 22,129 on Tuesday.
In the statement, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 1,63,098 samples were tested in the past 24 hours and the day's test positivity rate (TPR) stood at 13.53 per cent up from 11.20 per cent on Wednesday.
The state has 1,54,820 active cases, the highest in any state in the country.
Another 128 Covid deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 16,585.
Meanwhile with the state observing lockdown based on the TPR , there were 323 local bodies with a TPR of above 15 per cent, while in 355, the TPR is between 10 to 15 per cent, in 294 it is between 5 to 10 per cent and in 62, it was below 5 per cent.
Even with the pandemic showing no signs of any slowing down in Kerala, all eyes are on the aggressive statement that has come from the powerful traders body, which have said that come what may, they are all going to open their shops from August 9, as their families are in deep trouble and the present unscientific policy of keeping shops opening every other day is of no use.
The traditional Onam harvest festival week begins in the third week of August and is generally seen as a bumper time for the traders, as all employees, both in the private and government sector, get a bonus on account of Onam and this is the time when traders make a killing.