COVID-19: 65 employees in state secretariat test positive;

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Kerala logs 3,742 cases, 5,959 recoveries Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 8 (PTI) At least 65 employees from various departments in the state secretariat have tested positive for COVID-19, as Kerala logged 3,742 new cases and 16 deaths on Monday, taking the caseload to 9,72,180 and toll to 3,883.

With several employees testing positive, authorities have issued directions to reduce the number of staff inside the administrative complex to half in some sections including the Finance department.

The Health department suspects the rise in number of infections in the secretariat due to the recent election to canteen posts that was conducted last week.

Around 4,200 employees had attended the election that was organised at the Darbar Hall, Secretariat.

A total of 5,959 people got cured of the disease today, taking the total recoveries in the state to 9,02,627.

State Health minister K K Shailaja said 47,927 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 7.81 per cent.

Till now, 1,01,44,253 samples have been tested.

The minister said one person who reached the state from the UK tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total UK returnees found infected to 81.

Earlier, 10 people from that country was found infected with the new strain of the virus.

There were 65,414 patients under treatment in the state.

The minister 2,24,759 people were under observation, out of which 10,664 were in isolation wards of various hospitals.

'Out of those infected today, 72 reached the state from outside, while 3,379 contracted the disease through their contacts.The source of infection of 264 are yet to be traced, while 27 health workers are also among the infected..,' the minister said in a release.

Among the districts, Malappuram reported the highest of 503 cases today, followed by Ernakulam with 431.

Kozhikode reported 403, Thiruvananthapuram 380 and Kottayam 363.

Seven regions were added while one was removed from the list of hotspots, taking its total number to 452 in the state.PTI RRT BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR