The Kerala government is set to launch a special Covid testing drive. The government plans to conduct 2.5 lakh Covid-19 tests in the next two days and also to proceed with the state examination board exams for classes 10 and 12.The decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, convened to discuss the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.The government intends to control the spread of coronavirus by intensifying vaccination, strict restrictions and widespread testing.
All those who were part of the election process will undergo tests. Covid-19 frontline warriors, and other members of the high-risk category including delivery executives will also be tested as part of this drive.The government has decided to use mobile RT-PCR testing units to conduct tests in markets and other areas which are at high risk.
As per the state government’s directions, those who wish to hold marriages, house warmings and other similar functions must obtain prior permission from the local administration. The number of people who can attend indoor functions has been limited to 25 whereas up to 150 people can take part in outdoor functions.
Chief Secretary V P Joy conveyed that the present situation does not demand a lockdown, but all shops and establishments have to close down at 9 pm.While the government has put a ceiling of 150 for outdoor events, a different norm has been put in place for Thrissur pooram, the largest annual cultural event of the state slated for April 23. The entry for pooram would be only for those who have taken the vaccine or those with covid-19 negative certificates.
On Thursday, Kerala reported 8,126 new cases taking the total active cases to 63,650 — testing 60,900 samples over 24 hours.In January also, when cases peaked in Kerala, the government had decided to increase the daily testing to one lakh and increase the share of RT-PCR tests.