Kerala: Schools to reopen on Nov 1 as state logs 19,352 new Covid cases
Schools in Kerala will reopen on November 1, after a one-and-a-half-year interval, even as the state reported 19,325 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday. The decision was taken at the core committee meeting on the pandemic chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram. All schools have been asked to make necessary arrangements.
But, according to a spokesperson of the government, hotels and bars will have to wait a little more for dining. Both are now allowed to give only packed food and beverages.
Similarly, a decision on theatres will be taken after gauging the pandemic situation. Earlier the government had decided to open higher educational institutions from October 4.
For more than three months, the state remained the pandemic capital of the country reporting around 70 per cent of the total cases registered. The second wave of infections deteriorated after the Onam festival in August-end. Though the state reported a high number of cases for more than three months there was no health crisis or shortage of oxygen. More than 80 per cent of the eligible population have also been vaccinated, said state health minister Veena George.
Class XI exams announced
A day after the Supreme Court allowed the Kerala government to hold physical exams for Class 11 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government on Saturday announced that the examinations will be held from September 24 to October 18.
General Education Minister V Sivankutty said the exams will be held in the forenoon and strictly adhering to the COVID-19 health protocol.
"The exams for Higher Secondary students will start on September 24 and will end on October 18. The Vocational higher secondary exams will however end on October 13. There will be a gap of one to five days between the exams," Sivankutty said in a release.
The timetable for the exams is available on http://dhsekerala.gov.in
Allowing the Kerala government to hold physical exams for Class 11, the apex court had yesterday expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken by it to ensure that no untoward situation is faced by students.
The state government in an affidavit told the top court that online examinations will be a disadvantage for students with no access to laptops and mobile phones.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar had dismissed an appeal filed by lawyer Rasoolshan A, challenging a Kerala High Court order refusing to interfere with the state government's decision to hold offline exams.
Dip in new Covid-19 cases on Saturday
Kerala saw a dip in fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday with the state reporting 19,352 infections, and 143 deaths, taking the total affected in the state to 44,88,840 and the toll to 23,439. The state had reported 23,260 cases on Friday.
The number of recoveries outnumbered fresh cases with 27,266 being cured, taking the total number to 42,83,963.
Among the districts, Ernakulam reported the highest number of cases - 2,626, followed by Thrissur with 2,329 and Kozhikode with 2,188, health minister Veena George said.
"Out of those who were found infected today, 96 reached the state from outside, while 18,114 contracted the disease from their contacts. The sources of infection of 1,038 are yet to be traced. 77 health workers are also among the infected," the minister said in a release.
Active cases stood at 1,80,842, out of which 13.2 per cent are in hospitals, she said, but did not give the Test Positivity Rate. A total of 1,21,070 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
The minister said 88.94 per cent of the targeted population have received the first dose of vaccination and 36.67 per cent, both the doses. There are 2,507 wards across 678 local self government bodies in the state with a weekly infection population ratio above eight per cent, she said.