KOTTAYAM l WEDNESDAY l JULY 08, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION CENTRE GETS ONE MONTH ON PERMANENT COMMISSION A bench headed by Justices D Y Chandrachud said the Centre must comply with all its directions given in its Feb 17 verdict GOVT HAD SOUGHT SIX MONTHS’ TIME The Central govt had sought six months to implement the Supreme Court verdict in view of the coronavirus pandemic. In its landmark verdict, the apex court had ordered that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings. The court had also asked the Defence Ministry to fully implement its order within three months ■ 1,653 FORMAL GOVT ORDER LIKELY SOON ■ The Centre told the bench that decision making on the issue is at the final stage and only formal orders remain to be issued At present, woman officers can serve for 10 to 14 years in the Short Service Commission. A permanent commission will allow these officers to serve in the army till the age of retirement NO. OF WOMEN OFFICERS IN THE ARMY, COMPRISING 4% OF TOTAL STRENGTH CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI CM says nothing to hide, but sacks his secretary Pinarayi says his office did not make calls to help any suspect in the gold smuggling case; M Sivasankar goes on one-year leave Sivasankar removed M Sivasankar was removed as CM’s secretary. Mir Mohammed Ali to hold full additional charge of the post. K Mohammed Y Safirulla was named the new IT secretary. Conspiracy to malign govt: CM Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said with the state set for assembly elections in less than a year, efforts are being made to drag his office into the smuggling case as part of a conspiracy to malign his government. He refused to draw parallels between the Solar and gold smuggling cases. The government can’t give in to the greed of people who are drowned in mud and filth to drag others into it Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram BARELY 48 hours after the 30kg gold smuggled in through the diplomatic channel was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport, the most powerful senior bureaucrat in the office of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was stripped of his positions, but the CM later tried to detach his office from the case saying the CMO did not make calls to help any suspect. M Sivasankar was removed as CM’s secretary while he was allowed to keep away from his post as IT secretary following his alleged links with Swapna Suresh, a key suspect. Swapna was appointed as a marketing officer on a temporary basis at Space Park managed by Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited under the IT department. She had worked as a secretary to the UAE Consulate General and at Air India SATS. “The woman accused was appointed neither by the IT department nor by any of the project managements under the department,” said Pinarayi, adding there was no complaint against her while she was working in Space Park. He said the Crime Branch had recommended to include her in the list of accused in a case during her time with AI SATS. “The government had interacted with her when she represented the Consulate. But the photos showing her near me were circulated with a bad intention. “The smuggling was detected at the airport which is under the control of the central government. The parcel was not directed to any government agency but meant for the UAE , Consulate. The people who have come to collect the parcel have used the consulate’s authorisation. The state government has no role in deciding which agency should probe the case. The culprits should be identified and their activities rooted out,” said Pinarayi. The CM said Sivsankar was removed on a high moral ground which the Opposition UDF could not even think of and added the allegations against the former secretary were not le gal in nature. ● More on P4 PMO unhappy, intervenes in the case D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @ T’Puram TWO days after the seizure of 30kg of gold from a diplomatic baggage in Trivandrum International Airport, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) intervened in the high-profile case through diplomatic channels. At the same time, the PMO is not happy with the handling of the case, not in terms of the competency of the Customs in cracking it but the way in which the information regarding the UAE Consulate staff here reached the public domain, sources said. Though the officials initially pointed out the involvement of only former consulate PRO Sarith Kumar, who is under judicial custody now, and former consulate executive secretary Swapna Suresh, who has absconded since the consignment was blocked, they had said some present employees of the consulate here were also involved, including a UAE citizen. Since the case is likely to affect the diplomatic relations, the Union government, which may take it up with the UAE to get more details, if needed, in a later stage, the officials have now been told to report directly to New Delhi. The investigation found that the consignment was addressed to Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeili, charge d’affaires of the UAE Consulate. To make a detailed investigation into his role in the smuggling, the UAE government’s permission has to be obtained, for which there is a set of diplomatic rules. EASY LESSONS CBSE cuts course load by 30% for 9-12 classes EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will revise the curriculum and reduce course load for students in classes 9-12 in the ongoing session by up to 30%, Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank said on Tuesday . CBSE — the country’s largest educational board — said the prevailing health emergency as well as the efforts to contain the Covid-19 spread has resulted in loss of classroom teaching due to closure of schools. “Therefore, the board has decided to revise the syllabi for classes 9-12 for the academic session 2020-21,” it said. The board also said that the changes made in the syllabi have been finalised by the respective course committees with the approval of the curriculum committee and governing body of the board. “Considering the importance of achieving the level of learning, the syllabus has been rationalised to the extent possible by retaining the core concepts,” CBSE noted. Joint vetting likely after each pullback M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi JUNE 28 INDIA and China will jointly confirm the compliance of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, which began on Monday, after the first phase is complete. The militaries of India and China began thinning their troops and moving their vehicles back from some points in eastern Ladakh after Special Representatives of both sides - National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi - talked to each other on Sunday . “Joint verification of re-located camps will be done to see that the land form is restored,” an Army officer said. It means that the two sides will be physically present to confirm compliance as per the agreements so as to build trust, the officer added. continues at points like Finger-4 and Depsang. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the status of border infrastructure with DG Border Roads Lt Gen Harpal Singh. Forward connectivity to border areas was reviewed, the defence ministry said in a press release. With the situation in ferment, the US did some muscle flexing by deploying two aircraft carriers in the disputed South China Sea in response to recent Chinese aggression on multiple fronts, including India and Bhutan. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said: “The message is clear. We are not going to stand by and let China or anyone else take the reins in terms of being the most powerful, dominant force, whether it is in that region or over here. Our military might stands strong and will continue to stand strong.” JULY 6 Combo satellite images of the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh shows Monday’s Chinese pullback | AP Disengagement with the People’s Liberation Ar my (PLA) in China started on Monday with rearward movement of PLA vehicles seen in the general area of Galwan (Patrolling Point-14 and 15) and Gogra Post (Patrolling Point 17A) Hot Springs. “PLA was seen removing tents and str uctures at Patrolling Point-14,” but there was no clear word on the depth of the pullback. However, stand-off LOOKING AT BANNING CHINA APPS: POMPEO Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is ‘certainly looking’ at banning Chinese social media apps like TikTok. “I do not want to get out in front of the President Trump, but it is something we are looking at,” he said 70% OF ACTIVE CASES BY JUNE-END WERE FROM JUST FIVE STATES SANA SHAKIL & KUMAR V I K R A M @ New Delhi THE Covid-19 pandemic, while spreading across the country in June when Unlock 1.0 was rolled out, showed a pattern of concentrating in just a few states, an analysis of the June data by The New Indian Express has found. On June 1, five states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — together reported nearly 63% of the total active Covid-19 cases in the country. By the end of Unlock-1, the percentage had gone up to 70. One patter n that emerges from the June data is that in all the five states, the number of active cases either doubled or went up by more than that. While in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh it went up by seven times, in Tamil Nadu it was close to four times. (See graphic 1) Another patter n that emerges from the June data is that the number of daily confirmed cases rose sharply in the second half of the month. It is not clear if this was the result of increased testing, as in the case of Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. But after June 8, Unlock 1.0 was further relaxed when places of worship, shopping malls, restaurants and hotels were reopened. MAHARASHTRA Maharashtra TELANGANA It started with close to 70,013 confirmed cases at the beginning of June and the tally of total cases by the month-end was 1,74,761. Till mid-June, the state had about 3,000 new cases daily except on , June 15 and 16. But in the latter half of the month, the number of daily cases started increasing, hitting a peak of 6,368 on June 27. From 37,543 active cases in the beginning of the month, the state doubled its tally with as many as 75,979 active cases by the end of the month. In terms of total cases, the state recorded nearly 150% increase. Only two districts, Mumbai and Pune, reported over 62% of all cases in the state. CONTINUED ON: P7 37,543 75,979 TAMIL NADU 10,138 DELHI Skyscrapers 11,565 26,270 The bar chart shows the humungous jump in active Covid cases within a month after Unlock 1.0 began 1,213 8,785 ANDHRA PRADESH Active cases as on June 1 Active cases as on June 30 1,238 7,897 GUJARAT 5,374 7,126 KARNATAKA 2,036 7,072 UTTAR PRADESH 3,109 6,711 Swab sample of a woman being taken at a special Covid camp in Vijayawada | PRASANT MADUGULA WEST BENGAL 3,141 6,083 HARYANA 1,280 4,340 ASSAM 1,194 2,745 RAJASTHAN 2,688 3,375 US 18 VELLORE WEDNESDAY l l HARSH LESSONS AS MANY DEATHS AS WORLD WARS I & II The World Wars I & II claimed an estimated an 100 million lives. The estimates for global 1918 influenza (Spanish Flu) deaths range between FROM 100 YEARS AGO 50 mn - 100 mn Coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise in India and the infection peak is nowhere in sight. As we figure out the way forward, it will be useful to turn an eye to our past experience with a pandemic Soldiers infected with the Spanish Flu in an emergency hospital, circa 1919 | NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE INFLUENZA’S IMPACT IN 1918-19 A R A V I N D A K S H A N S @ Chennai T HE 1918-1920 influenza ripped through a completely unprepared Indian population, killing an estimated 15 million people and leaving river mouths choked with dead bodies. Without modern medical science, people didn’t even know what was causing the disease and it was impossible to have a vaccine or antibiotic. Oddly, some important things remain the same in 1918 and 2020: Quarantine is the primary way to contain the spread; and health systems have once again been pushed to the point of breaking. What lessons can we learn from that dark period of history? Professor Siddharth Chandra, director of the Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University said the gov, ernment in British India recognised that it was hopeless to expect social distancing, given the high population density in many areas. The government turned its attention instead to boosting health infrastructure and increasing acPopulation Loss of over 10% cess to health officers in rural areas. “These lessons are to 10% Population Loss of 5 as relevant today as they were in 1918. The population of India has grown dramatically over the Population Loss past century, and of 0 to 5% population density has increased as a result. Emergency hospital accommodations are, therefore, Gain in Population limited. However, efforts are being made to expand this capacity NoProfessor Chandra told TNIE. ,” Data A government Sanitary Commissioner’s report lamented that in Delhi in 1918, “the resources of the medical department were taxed to the utmost”, echoing a similar situation today where people with other serious illnesses are being turned away from hospitals. “It is likely that, today the healthcare system will again , become overburdened in locations in which the spread of the disease is uncontrolled,” Chandra warned. But our healthcare system is much better now than it was in 1918 and a race is on to produce and make available a coronavirus vaccine by 2021. Educating people repeatedly on the dangers of the disease will help prevent a repeat of 1918. More investment in healthcare will help too. And with our modern advantages such as testing and drugs, it is possible to get the economy back on track while keeping the virus in check. GOING, GOING... HC stay off: Telangana’s old secretariat, which includes Nizam era buildings, being razed on Tuesday after the high court vacated its stay a few days ago Vaastu angle: K Chandrashekar Rao hardly ever entered the old secretariat after he became CM in 2014, purportedly because it was Vaastu deficient L400 cr bill: The new integrated secretariat with state-of-the-art connectivity is expected come up in about 4 lakh sq ft and cost around I400 crore Aishwarya Lekshmi points fingers at WCC Kochi: Observing that “rape is the most revolting, cruel and hated crime against a woman”, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed the discharge petition filed by bishop Franco Mulackal, accused in the nun rape case. Kochi: More women have come up with allegations against the Women in Cinema Collective. Actor Aishwarya Lekshmi became the latest when she commented under costume designer Stephy’s Facebook post supporting her views. PANDEMIC WOES Studying online? Go back, US tells foreign students P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi THE US said on Monday that foreign students will not be allowed to remain in the country if their classes are going to be held only in the online mode in the upcoming fall semester. The students, however, can stay back if they shift to colleges that teach in-person. The move will hit many Indian students in the US, apart from those who have secured admission for the fall session beginning in August/September, and also those who had re- turned to their home countries due to the pandemic. The number of students who will be impacted could not be ascertained immediately as many colleges haven’t decided on the mode of instruction. “Non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 (visa holders) students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the US. Active students currently in the US enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) said. While the F-1 visa is granted after enrolment in higher education, high school and other levels of education, M-1 visas are issued to those pursuing vocational training. The announcement came on a day when Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale held virtual talks on enhancing trade and people-to-people ties for students and professionals. According to sources, the US has assured that they will keep the best interests of the students in mind and will try to mitig ate the CONTINUED ON: P7 impact. FRANCE Population loss of over 10% Population loss of 5 to 10% Population loss of 0 to 10% Gain in population No data Population Loss of over 10% Huge losses along coasts Southern Indian districts on the west and east coasts recorded heavy losses in population. Districts in present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu also saw a fall in population during the pandemic State of the nation SOURCE: l Data from the Census of India, Annual Reports of the Sanitary Commissioner l Original map design: Camille North Poet Suryakant Tripathi, aka Nirala, wrote in 1918, when he was just 22, about the ravages of the pandemic in his memoir, according to Laura Spinney When the influenza struck in 1918, India was in a bad way. Monsoon had failed and drought prevailed in many parts of the country. Shortages sent food prices soaring. Earlier years had even seen famine-like conditions % DECLINE IN POPULATION Akola (Maharashtra), Central Provinces 10.53 10.08 2.36 lakh 2.18 lakh 2.17 lakh 2.05 lakh Cuttack, Orissa (Odisha) 2.03 lakh Jessore (Bangladesh), Bengal 11.23 Buldana (Maharashtra), Central Provinces 15 MILLION Rangpur (Bangladesh), Bengal 11.95 11.40 Kanara (Karnataka), Bombay Estimates vary for how many Indians died due to the influenza. Prof Siddharth Chandra puts the number at 15 million South arcot (Tamil Nadu), Madras 11.97 11.89 Balasore, Orissa (Odisha) Jessore (Bangladesh), Bengal No Data Tanjore (Tamil Nadu), Madras 12.30 Rajshahi (Bangladesh), Bengal Wardha (Maharashtra), Central Provinces Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh), United Provinces Population Loss of 0 to 5% Gain in Population Indian soliders who fought for the British during World War I. Soldiers returning to Mumbai in 1918 may have spread the Spanish Flu | CHARLES HILTON DEWITT GIRDWOOD DECLINE IN POPULATION 12.65 Nainital (Uttarakhand) United Provinces Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh), Central Provinces 1.89 lakh Rajshahi (Bangladesh), Bengal 1.89 lakh Darbhanga, Bihar 1.86 lakh Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), United Provinces Basti (Uttar Pradesh), United Provinces 1.85 lakh Muzaffarpur, Bihar 1.83 lakh 9.88 Note: Districts and their locations given as per British-era records. Contemporary locations given in brackets. The numbers can be found in research papers: l Chandra, S., Kuljanin, G. & Wray, J. Mortality From the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919: The Case of India. Demography 49, 857–865 (2012) l Chandra, S., Kassens-Noor, E. The evolution of pandemic influenza: evidence from India, 1918–19. BMC Infect Dis 14, 510 (2014) l Chandra, S., Kassens-Noor, E., Kuljanin, G. et al. A geographic analysis of population density thresholds in the influenza pandemic of 1918–19. Int J Health Geogr 12, 9 (2013) Spain study casts doubt on virus herd immunity LONDON: Spanish researchers have found that only 5% of the population in Spain has developed antibodies for the novel coronavirus, nowhere near the levels needed to achieve herd immunity . Herd immunity is achieved when enough people become infected with a virus to stop its spread. According to a nationwide study published in , the journal The Lancet, to achieve herd immunity that would protect the uninfected, around 70% to 90% of a population needs to be immune to protect the uninfected. “This nationwide population-based study aims to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) infection in Spain at the national and regional level,” the study authors wrote. For the findings, the research team picked more than 60,000 participants, who answered a questionnaire on a history of symptoms compatible with Covid-19 and risk factors. The study provides nationwide and regional estimates of SARS-CoV-2 (coro- Did you know that the Spanish flu killed an estimated 15 million people in India alone? Check out | P12 Population Loss of 5 to 10% I travelled to the riverbank in Dalmau and waited. The Ganga was swollen with dead bodies. At my in-laws’ house, I learned that my wife had passed away... My family disappeared in the blink of an eye. All our sharecroppers and labourers died. In whichever direction I turned, I saw darkness Head count The map shows estimated declines in population in 1918-19, adjusted for normal growth every year. The districts highlighted here recorded deaths of 10.82 million people during the time when the pandemic struck navirus) dissemination in Spain, showing remarkable differences between higher and lower prevalence areas. The findings showed that one in three infections seems to be asymptomatic, while a substantial number of symptomatic cases remained untested. Data from participants - who ranged in age from infants to people in their 90s - showed some variation by region but nowhere near levels needed for herd immunity. The prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies was less than 3% in coastal regions, but more than five times higher in areas with major outbreaks. According to the study, despite the high impact of Covid-19 in Spain, the majority of the Spanish population is seronegative to SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in hotspot areas. “This cannot be achieved without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems,” the researchers said. “In this situation, social distance measures and efforts to identify and isolate new cases and their contacts are imperative for future epidemic control.” FACT OF THE MATTER Brazil a vaccine testing ground 2 cr downloads for G MeeT 68 local contact cases set off alarm as Covid count touches new high SMALL JOYS A rainbow forms in the sky after rainfall in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh | MADHAV K Bottled holy water, sterilised pebbles for Hajj HC dismisses Franco’s discharge plea NOTHING SPANISH ABOUT THE FLU The Spanish Flu, which didn’t start in Spain, was so named because the country’s free press had reported it prominently while other nations at war in 1918 played down the disease with censorship and denial 08 07 2020 LOW PREVALENCE EXPRESS READ Graphic 1 38,992 PILGRIMAGE DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrims will be only be able to drink holy water from the Zamzam well in Mecca that is packaged in plastic bottles, and pebbles for casting away evil that are usually picked up by pilgrims along Hajj routes will be sterilised and bagged ahead of time. Pilgrims will also have to bring their own prayer rugs. The guidelines were an- nounced as Saudi authorities prepare to carry out a very limited Hajj, which for the first time will not include pilgrims from outside the country . Instead, the kingdom said that 70% of pilgrims allowed to participate this year will be from among foreign residents o f S a u d i A r a b i a wh i l e 30%would be Saudi citizens. said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an AIDS specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. “This has happened to one person, and one person only,” and it didn’t succeed in four others given the same treatment, she said. Another UCSF specialist, Dr. Steven Deeks, said: “This is not a cure,” just an interesting case that merits more study . The case was described at an AIDS conference where researchers also disclosed an important prevention advance: A shot of an experimental medicine every two months worked Dr Ricardo Diaz, University of Sao Paulo better than daily Truvada pills to help keep uninfected gay APP USAGE P razil may be struggling in its battle against the coronavirus, but it is on the cutting edge of vaccine development with large-scale trials and the production of millions of doses on the horizon. Unlike Europe and China, Covid-19 continues to spread rapidly across the Latin American nation -- the second-worst hit country in the world after the United States -- creating the necessary conditions for testing a vaccine’s efficiency. Vaccine projects from Oxford University and China’s Sinovac will have on thousands of Brazilian volunteers. Brazil won’t be short-changed: both projects have technology transfer agreements that will enable the country to produce the vaccines themselves. opular video meet app Google Meet for Android has surpassed over 10 crore downloads globally on the Google Play Store. The platform doubled the install base in less than two-months time as more and more people turned to video conferencing owing to the global pandemic, reports the Android Police website. According to app traffic and performance observer AppBrain, Goo gle Meet passed 5 crore (50 million) installs or downloads mark on Google Play on May 17. AppBrain figures indicated that the app crossed 10 crore installs on July 7. According to Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite, the tech giant has seen daily usage of Meet app grow by 30 times. Dino smaller than a cellphone TESTS NEGATIVE Experimental treatment may have rid man of HIV, say doctors IN REMISSION BOSTON: A Brazilian man infected with the AIDS virus has shown no sign of it for more than a year since he stopped HIV medicines after an intense experimental drug therapy aimed at purging hidden, dormant virus from his body doc, tors reported Tuesday . The case needs independent verification and it’s way too soon to speculate about a possible cure, scientists cautioned. “These are exciting findings but they’re very preliminary,” ACTIVE CASES B men from catching HIV from an infected sex partner. Hundreds of thousands of people take these “pre-exposure prevention” pills now and the shot could give a new option, almost like a temporary vaccine. If the Brazil man’s case is confirmed, it would be the first time HIV has been eliminated in an adult without a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Independent experts want to see whether his remission lasts and for the intense drug combination that he received to undergo more testing. “I’m very moved because it’s something that millions of people want,” said the 35-year-old man, whose spoke to The Associated Press on condition that his name not be published. “It’s a gift of life, a second chance to live.” Transplants are how two other men, nicknamed the Berlin and London patients for where they were treated, were cured previously . Dr. Ricardo Diaz of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil led a study testing strong and new drug combinations to try to purge this reservoir. “We are trying to wake up the virus” and boost the immune system. CUTE? M eet Kongonaphon kely, a pocket sized dinosaur forerunner that was smaller t h a n yo u r c e l l phone. The creature, which predated dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs, was just shy of 4 inches (10 centimeters) tall, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Some of these things would have been quite cute animals,” said study lead author Christian Kammerer, a paleontology researcher at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Looking like a small dinosaur that could fit in your hand, Kammerer mused that it “would probably make a great pet.” E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram LOCAL transmission cases saw a sharp increase of 68 as the state recorded its highest single-day count of 272 Covid positive cases on Tuesday That the source of infection re. mains unknown in 15 cases is cause for further alarm, with the number of local contact cases too touching a new high. Briefing the media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the evolving situation warrants a higher degree of caution though the state is yet to enter the community transmission stage. “We will have to pay a heavy price for the slightest carelessness. As seen nationally, when transmission occurs in urban areas, it is difficult to control. In Kerala’s case, there is no such urban/rural divide, and the risk of transmission to larger sections of people is higher,” he said. The CM pointed out that the test positivity rate in Kochi is higher than that of the state average, calling for increased testing. As a large section of people rely on urban areas for jobs, trade and medical needs, the chances of contracting the infection are ● More on P5 high. KERALA CASE DIARY 272 cases reported on Tuesday 2,411 under treatment 5,894 cases have been confirmed so far 3,452 4 recovered 27 migrated DEATHS
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