Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that 32 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 213. This comes a day after the Kerela government passed an Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020, which empowers the state to impose restrictions on essential services.
The first positive case of Coronavirus in India was reported from Kerala, and ever since the number has increased significantly in the state. Kerala also reported its first COVID-19 death on Saturday after a 69-year-old man being treated for the virus died at Ernakulam Medical College Hospital. Currently, Kerala has reported the second-highest number of cases, standing at 213 with 1 death.
Health Minister KK Shailaja said on Sunday that 1.41 lakh people are under observation. This comes amid a countrywide lockdown for three-weeks called by the Indian government in an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
In a massive development, Kerala passed the Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020 on Sunday, which gives the state government extraordinary powers to deal with the current COVID-19 outbreak by imposing restrictions on essential services. The ordinance also empowers CM Pinarayi Vijayan-led government to impose a 2-year penalty on curfew violators.
Here are the powers bestowed upon the govt under this Ordinance:
With over 1.2 lakh individuals under observation, Kerala has undertaken a huge testing drive to identify and isolate possible suspects. As of Thursday, the state had sent 5,342 samples for testing - which is the highest among all states. Of these 3,768 have returned negative, declaring 176 positive. Ahead of PM Modi's Rs 15,000 crore relief package, the state government had introduced Rs 20,000 cr relief and support package along with free rations for all.
Moreover, the Kerala government has also announced thousands of community kitchens throughout the state to ensure no one is left facing a food shortage. CM Pinarayi Vijayan has announced that they have set up phone numbers at the Panchayat level to deliver food to people at their homes via state volunteers. The state government has also made 69,437 beds available in 869 private hospitals across the state with additional isolation wards facilities made available.