Ahead of Onam, Covid TPR in Kerala rises above 15%

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The three-day Onam festivities begin on Friday and the state government has banned all public activities and have asked people to maintain absolute caution…reports Asian Lite News.

Even as festivities for the hugely popular Onam were set to begin, the Covid test positivity rate in Kerala stayed high, reaching 15.48 per cent on Tuesday.

A statement issued here by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 21,613 people turned Covid positive after 1,39,623 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.

Onam is the traditional harvest festival of Kerala and is celebrated by all irrespective of caste, creed or religion. With the entire trading community up in arms forcing the state government to allow them to do their business, save in areas where ‘triple lockdown’ norms are in force, life in all sectors is almost back to normal despite the Covid threat.

The three-day Onam festivities begin on Friday and the state government has banned all public activities and have asked people to maintain absolute caution.

Tuesday also saw 18,556 people turn negative, taking the total active cases in the state to 1,75,167, while another 127 Covid deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 18,870.

Malappuram district continues to lead the state with 3,193 cases followed by Ernakulam with 2,643.

Jumbos in Mysuru Dasara celebrations to be tested for Covid

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has announced that due to Covid, Dasara celebrations will remain a low-key affair, and authorities have decided to allow only those jumbos that test negative for Covid infection in the festivities.

The negative RT-PCR test has also been made compulsory for mahouts, kavadis, and the Dasara organising committee members.

Elephants were tested ahead of last year’s celebration also. Usually, 13 to 14 elephants take part in the Dasara fete but only five were allowed last time.

Forest Department officials, veterinarians and officers will reach elephant camps in Mysuru and Kodagu to conduct Covid tests. The tests will be conducted on Abhimanyu, the elephant that carried the Golden Howdah, as well as Gopi, Vikram, Kaveri, and Vijaya.

The final list of participating elephants will be prepared after the test results are obtained.

Mysuru in-charge Minister S.T. Somashekar said on Tuesday that this year also, Dasara is going to be a simple affair. A high-level meeting will be held at the end of this month for a final decision, he added.

The Dasara festival, known as Nada Habba or ‘state festival’, is celebrated in mid-October and attract tourists from across the world. Due to Covid, the celebrations are being kept low-key.

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