Thiruvananthapuram: On Tuesday, the Kerala government reinstated Saturdays as working days due to a drop in Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. The announcement came after the state’s Disaster Management Department reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the state. ‘All employees are instructed to report for duty (on Saturdays) accordingly,’ the department said in its order today.
On August 4, all government offices, quasi-government and public sector undertakings, companies, autonomous bodies and commissions were permitted to work from Monday through Friday with full attendance. ‘After assessing the present Covid-19 scenario and the restrictions imposed in the State to contain the same, the government is pleased to restore Saturdays also as working days, wherever applicable,’ an order from the department added.
When the number of cases peaked, government employees were directed to work alternate days, which was later increased to five days per week. The order from the disaster management department stated that the biometric system will also be restored from September 16. It also stated that employees can access the biometric entry system with their identity cards. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the biometric entry system had been suspended since March of last year.
According to the state health ministry, Kerala reported 15,876 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, with a test positivity rate of 15.12 per cent after 1,05,005 samples were tested. In addition, 129 people died, bringing the total toll to 22,779, while the number of active cases dropped to 1,98,865. Among the two lakh or so patients, about 13 percent are in hospitals, and 40 percent of the state’s ICU beds are vacant.
The number of Covid-19 cases in Kerala began dropping last week after a peak. The state reported 28,000 average cases weekly about two weeks ago, contributing about 70% of India’s total cases.