(Eds: adding details) Thiruvananthapuram,Apr 20 (PTI) In the highest single day surge in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic, Kerala recorded 19,577 COVID-19 cases, including 66 health workers, on Tuesday, pushing the caseload to 12.72 lakh and active cases to 1.18 lakh, the state government said.
The toll mounted to 4,978 with the addition of 28 deaths.
As many as 3,880 people have been cured of the infection and total recoveries have touched 11,48,671.
The virus count has mounted to 12,72,645 and 1,18,673 people are undertreatment for the infection.
This is the highest single day surge reported from Kerala since the outbreak of the virus, according to government sources.
The country's first Coronavirus case was reported from the state when a medical student from Wuhan, the sprawling capital of China's Hubei province, tested positive on her return on January 30, 2020 to Kerala.
Two other students from Wuhan also subsequently tested positive. All the three had later recovered.
On April 18 this year, the state reported 18,257 cases.
Among those who tested positive on Tuesday were 52 trainees of the police academy at Thrissur, following which the institution was shut.
The night curfew imposed by the government to bring down the infections will come into effect tonight from 9 pm to 5 am.
Ernakulam, where 18,850 people are under treatment for the infection, recorded the highest number of cases today-- 3,212, followed by Kozhikode (over 16,000 people under treatment) 2,341.
Seven districts reported over 1,000 cases.
As part of mass testing on Friday and Saturday last, 3,00,971 samples had been collected.
In the last 24 hours ending 2 pm, 1,12,221 samples were tested and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was 17.45 per cent, a government press release said.
So far 1,44,71,237 samples have been tested.
Of the positive cases, 17,839 were infected through contact and 397 persons had come from outside the state.
At least 2,75,964 people were under observation, including 13,221 in hospitals.
With the addition of 28 new hotspots today and exclusion of three, the total number in the state has gone up to 493.
Police have registered 5144 cases for violation of COVID-19 protocol,arrested 1142 people and seized 15 vehicles.
Cases have been registered against 18,881 people for not wearing masks.
Meanwhile, though the state is witnessing a steep surge in Covid cases, the government decided not to impose lockdowns during weekends for the time being.
The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting convened by Chief Secretary Dr V P Joy.
In areas where theTPR was high, covid tests would be conducted in all homes.
It was also decided to conduct genome study on the virus mutant strains and work towards bringing down the TPR to below 3 per cent.
As the cases were increasing, the state was equipped to handle any emergency situation and had enough Intensive Care Units CU and ventilator facilities, the meeting noted.
DGP Loknath Behara said intensive testing would be carried out in five districts-- Kannur, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Kottayam and Palakkad, where the test positivity rate was very high. PTI UD APR ADMINISTRATOR ADMINISTRATOR