Amid COVID-surge, Kerala govt to conduct 2.5L tests in 2 days

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 15 (PTI) The Kerala government on Thursday decided to conduct at least 2.5 lakh tests within the next two days to rein in the surging COVID-19 cases in the state.

Steps such as extensive testing, strict containment and restrictions besides effective vaccination would also be taken to control the spread.

This was decided at a COVID-19 evaluation meeting conducted online and chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

'Mass testing of at least 2.5 lakh people will be held on April 16 and 17,' Vijayan said.

He also said the number of people who can attend indoor functions has been brought down to 75 from the earlier 100 and for outdoor events, to 150 from the earlier 200.

The chief minister said all facilities for extensive testing have been arranged and instructed district collectors to complete their target for testing.

'All those who have taken active participation in the election process would be tested.' 'COVID frontline workers, those living in COVID-affected areas, those who have come into contact with large number of people including those working in the transport sector, hospitality, tourism sector, shops, hotels, markets delivery executives, among others, will be tested,' Vijayan said in a Facebook post after the meeting.

He said in regions where there is rapid spread of the virus, the health department will use the mobile RT-PCR testing units.

'We need strict vigilance for the next two weeks.

Declaration of containment zones should not affect the testing.Transportationfacilities should be made available to students who have exams, crowd control at malls and markets should be done,' he said and asked departments concerned to coordinate the activities.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister K K Shailaja, Chief Secretary V P Joy,state police chief Loknath Behera and other top officials. PTI RRT BN BN