Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government today announced a special package for children orphaned by Covid. Giving details, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “We need to take care of the children who have lost both their father and mother due to Covid. A special package will be implemented for the care of such children. As per the package, initially, an amount of Rs. 3 lakhs will be given to the children as a lump sum. In addition, an amount of Rs. 2,000/- per month will also be given till they reach the age of 18. The government has also decided to bear the cost of their education up to the degree level.”
Meanwhile, 24,166 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the State today from 1,35,232 sample tests during the last one day. The test positivity rate is 17.87%. At the same time, 181 deaths were established as due to Covid taking the death toll to 8,063. Today, 30,539 patients recoveries were reported and currently, there are 2,41,966 persons under treatment for the disease in Kerala. Malappuram district continues to have the highest number of 4,212 new active cases.
“The average test positivity rate for May 24-26 is 20.40% as against 22.55% for May 21-23. There has been a 12.61% decline in the number of active cases while the number of new cases per day has decreased by 9.03%”, the Chief Minister informed. An expert team will look into the high death rate in Pathanamthitta, Palakkad and Kozhikode districts during the last two weeks.
Ophthalmologists, optical shops, shops selling and repairing hearing aid equipment, assistive devices and prostheses, gas stove repair shops, and mobile and computer repair shops will open for two days during the lockdown period.
The CM also informed that till now, 74,032 applications have been received from healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, to be part of the Covid Brigade. All of them were contacted and 8,467 persons were recruited. 23,975 applications were approved for the Covid Brigade through the National Health Mission and out of these, 17,524 were recruited.
Kerala requests Centre to declare coastal erosion as disaster
Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today wrote to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi requesting the Centre to declare coastal erosion as a natural disaster and also to double the disaster relief amount.
Kerala has a coastline of 590 kms spread across nine coastal districts. “The Central Government has permission to provide assistance to the people in the event of state-level disasters from the annual allocation to SDRF and NDRF for up to 10%. Accordingly, Kerala has already declared coastal erosion as a state-level disaster. However, the central government has not taken such a decision. In the current situation, SDRF-NDRF assistance cannot be given for losses due to coastal erosion. Therefore, the state has demanded that coastal erosion be declared a disaster” the CM said.
The State Government is currently providing assistance in the case of natural calamities as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. The Central Government is in the process of revising the norms relating to relief to the people through SDRMF and NDRMF as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission. “In the wake of Covid 19, increasing the relief amount to the people would be beneficial to the state government. The Prime Minister has been asked to double the relief available when the norms are revised”, he added.