37 UK returnees test positive for COVID-19;Kerala reports

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5,328 new cases Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 2 (PTI): Thirty-seven people who returned from the UK to Kerala recently have tested positive for COVID-19, while the state recorded 5,328 new cases and 4,985 recoveries on Saturday, Health Minister K K Shailaja said.

While thevirus caseload has gone up to 7,71,251, as many as 7,02,576 people have recovered.

At least 2,40,490 people are under observation in various districts, including 11,811 in hospitals.

The minister also said the dry run for the Covid vaccine was successfully held and asserted the state was fully prepared to receive and administer the vaccine.

In the first phase, 3.13 lakh people have registered for the vaccination, she said.

The samples of the UK returnees have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for further testing for the mutant variant.

The minister said of the 11 results received from NIV, none had tested positive for the new variant.

In the past 24 hours, no returnees had tested positive, Shailaja said in a press release.

The activecases of coronavirus touched 65,374, while the death toll has climbed to 3,116 with 21 more people succumbing to the infection in the past few days.

In the past 24 hours, 54,098 samples have been tested and the test positivity rate was 9.85 per cent, the minister said, adding so far 80,18,822 samples have been sent for testing.

Among the 14 districts, Ernakulam recorded the highest number of cases-743- today, followed by Kozhikode 596 and Malappuram 580, while Kasaragod accounted for 83, the least.

Of the positive cases, 57 are health workers, 78 had come from outside the state and 4,801 had been infected through contact. PTI UD BN WELCOME BN WELCOME