Finally Vijayan returns to brief media on Covid as cases rise to 31,265

Finally Vijayan returns to brief media on Covid as cases rise to 31,265
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 28 (IANS) Finally, after 36 days of silence, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday returned to address the media, but there was no respite in the surge of Covid as 31,265 new cases were reported in the state in 24 hours.

He said 1,67,497 samples were tested in the past 24 hours and the day's test positivity rate was 18.67 per cent.

Across the state there were 2,04,896 active cases after 21,468 people turned negative. The state recorded 153 Covid deaths, taking the death toll to 20,466 so far.

Vijayan began his press meet by saying that he is returning after a while and it was because of the recently concluded assembly session and also because of Onam.

But the agile opposition leaders who were baying for his blood, for being in hiding, as Kerala accounted for as much as 60 per cent of the daily cases in recent days, said this was nothing but a bluff as in the past 18 months on numerous occasions he made it a point to address the media during all festivals and he then even concluded his press meetings by wishing the people of Kerala, depending on which festival was being celebrated.

Vijayan then took cover of statements made by leading epidemiologists to the media of how Kerala was the best state in managing Covid and the numbers were because of higher testing and also due to correct statistics that the state was putting out.

"There has been a surge in the past few days because of the Onam festivities. The state is fully geared to face the expected third wave which has been predicted," said Vijayan.

Vijayan then turned towards the importance of all in the state to get vaccinated.

"Figures now show that many who passed away due to Covid had not taken vaccines. The need of the hour is if there is any reluctance on the part of any person not to take vaccine, then there should be a concerted effort to tell such people the importance of it," said Vijayan.

He said so far the state has administered 2.77 crore vaccine doses which include two crores who have got only one dose.

The vaccination ratio is the highest in the country.

"From next week onwards there will be night curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as announced, while Sunday will be observed as total lockdown. A high level online meeting of leading experts from across the country will be held on September 1 to discuss the way forward in tackling Covid," added Vijayan and concluded by saying that he is not interested to counter a negative campaign against the state about Covid spread.

"We did not have to face the scenario where dead bodies were seen floating around," said Vijayan taking a potshot at the BJP leaders who in recent times had slammed him for remaining in hiding.