Thiruvananthapuram, May 22 (PTI): In the highest single day spike in COVID-19 cases in Kerala so far, 42 people, including 21 returnees from Maharashtra, have tested positive for the virus on Friday, taking the infection tally to 732 while over 80,000 are under observation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
One person each from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides two from Keralaand 17 from abroad have also tested postive, Vijayan told reporters here.
A seven-month-old baby boy,who had come from Maharashtra, which on Friday recorded a tally of 44,582 cases, is among those who have tested positivealong with his father, grandmother and mother's sister.
The baby and his relatives areundergoing treatment in Palakkad.
Kerala had reported its fourth fatality on Thursday night after a 73-year-old woman, who had travelled from Maharashtra to Thrissur, along with her son in a taxi,died.
The last rites of the woman were held this morning following COVID-19 protocol.
Vijayan pointed out that the increase in cases were not due to relaxations in lockdown curbs, but because many Keralites from abroad and other states were returning.
However, the state cannot close doors on its own people, the chief minister said.
'We cannot close the doors on them. When people are returning from hot spots, the rise in cases was expected.
We need to protect them and ensure that those here are not infected. What we need to understand is that the situation is serious and there is need to strengthen our guard against the virus,'he said.
He pointed out that the lockdown restrictions had been relaxed so that life could move on.
'This is not the time for celebrations,' Vijayan said and cautioned against taking small children and the elderly to public spaces for shopping and other purposes.
Among the fresh cases, Kannur reported 12, Kasaragod seven, Kozhikode and Palakkad five each, Thrissur and Malapuram four each, Kottayam two, Kollam, Pathnamthitta and Wayanad one case each.
In Kannur, one person had been infected through contact and in Kozhikode a health worker tested positive for the virus.
With this the COVID-19 tally in the state has climbed to 732, while 216 are presently under treatment.
At least 84,258 are under observation in the state while 83,649 are under home or institutional quarantine,and 609 are in various hospitals.
According to officials, 91,344 people, including 2,961 pregnant women and 1,618 elderly citizens, have come to the state through air, sea and road routes since early this month.
A total of 4,047 incidents of not wearing masks were reported in the state and at least 100 people were booked for violating quarantine protocol, sources said.
As of now, Malappuram and Kannur have 36 positive cases each, the highest in the state, followed by Palakkad with 26 and Kasaragod with 22.PTI RRT UD BN WELCOME BN WELCOME