Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)
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Even as the number of Covid-19 cases are consistently rising, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday expressed confidence that the state and its people will come through these trying times and that a ‘COVID brigade’ will be formed to handle the situation.

Vijayan said there were 1,078 COVID cases on Thursday in Kerala which stands as the highest in a day.

“With this, the total number of positive cases has reached 16,110, of which 9,458 are presently positive. Of the day’s positive cases, 798 are local infectees. At present the state has 428 hotspots,” he said.

“In the first and second phase of COVID which began from January and extended till May, we were able to effectively treat and cure the positive cases and were able to contain the spread also. But after May when people started to come from outside the state, things also changed. We will come out of this present phase also and for that, all of us should join hands to fight COVID,” said Vijayan.

He said with things turning tough, the government is forming a COVID brigade which will consist of medical professionals and ordinary people who are willing to work to fight this pandemic.

“All will be appropriately rewarded according to the norms. A large number of students also are expected to be part of this fight. All such students will be given appreciation certificates for their participation,” said Vijayan.

He said he had a talk with Muslim clerics and leaders on the upcoming festival of Eid-ul-Adha which is otherwise called ‘Festival of Sacrifice’.

“They have agreed to cooperate according to the ongoing COVID protocols. They have said there will be no public Eidgahs, instead, it would be held with a maximum of 100 people indoors in mosques which are now open. Those mosques which are closed will remain closed,” he said.

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