THIRUVANANTHAPURAM :
Kerala has continued to maintain that it flattened the coronavirus curve, with just two fresh cases of expatriates being reported and 16 active cases remaining in hospitals.

“On the 100th day of confirmation of the first case of COVID, Kerala flattened the curve. Only 16 active cases remain in hospitals. We are bracing ourselves for the 3rd wave,” state Finance Minister Isaac had tweeted.

The two cases were those who returned from Dubai and Abu Dhabi on May 7 and were among expatriates airlifted by the Centre as part of its mission to bring back stranded Indians abroad. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Friday said that Kerala had flattened the curve, but cautioned that the state needed to be careful to avoid another wave of the deadly virus, but asserted it was ready to fight it in such an event.

Vijayan on Saturday told reporters after the daily evaluation meet on COVID-19 that with the two new patients, the total number of cases in the state has gone up to 505 and there are currently 17 under treatment. “One patient from Idukki, who was under treatment, has been cured today. The two new cases are now under treatment in Kochi and Kozhikode. They reached the state on May 7 in the Abu Dhabi-Kochi and Dubai-Kozhikode flights respectively,” Vijayan said.

With the return of expatriates and also Keralites from other states, the number of people under surveillance has gone up to 23,930, of whom 334 are isolated at hospitals, he said. The Chief Minister said 485 of the total of 505 infected people in the state had been cured.

“The new cases being reported is a warning to those coming back from abroad and other states to be on the alert. We need to strengthen our mitigation efforts and preventive measures,” Vijayan said. The Chief Minister reiterated that entry passes are mandatory to enter Kerala through check posts bordering neigbouring states and those without it would be sent back.

Those wishing to come to Kerala should register through the Covid Jagratha Portal and start their journey only after getting the pass, he said. “The pass is mandatory. Based on logistics and for crowd control, there is a limit on the number of people who can cross the border every day and passes are being issued according to that, Vijayan said.

He said there were some people who had reached the borders without necessary documents and it was not acceptable. Till now, 54,262 passes have been issued and so far, 21,812 Keralites from other states have reached back home through five border check posts Vijayan also said that special non-stop trains would be run from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai to the State, to bring back the stranded Keralites.

“We hope that the first train will be from Delhi to bring back the stranded students there. The date will be announced soon,” Vijayan said. The Chief Minister also said 152 expatriates from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia arrived at Kozhikode on Friday. Apart from 142 Keralites, there were eight from Karnataka and two from Tamil Nadu.

“There were 128 adults and 24 children, including 78 pregnant women. Of these, 114 were sent home and the rest were transferred to various Covid Care Centres,” Vijayan said. He said another flight from Bahrain to Kochi arrived on Friday with 181 passengers, in which there were 25 pregnant women and 28 children under the age of 10.

Three flights from Muscat to Kochi, Kuwait to Kochi and Doha to Kochi are expected to arrive in Kerala tonight. The chief minister also said that as per the recommendations of an expert committee, people coming from other states would first undergo a medical check-up and those without any symptoms will be sent home for 14 days quarantine.

“If they show any symptoms, a PCR test will be done and they would be transferred to Covid hospitals,” Vijayan said. So far, 36,648 samples have been sent for testing, he said.

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