22 September Friday

Grant States permission to issue special Pandemic Relief Bonds: CM

I&PRD BulletinUpdated: Thursday Apr 9, 2020

 I&PRD BulletinThiruvananthapuram, April 09:  In an effort to tide over the economic situation rising out of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Kerala Government has requested the Central Government to grant permission to State Governments to issue special Pandemic Relief Bonds.

Briefing the media today, Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan disclosed that Kerala has informed Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi about the economic crisis in the State following the spread of Covid-19. “All States are in financial distress as revenues have stopped and the public healthcare expenditure has increased manifold to contain the outbreak. In this difficult scenario, we will have to borrow from the open market to continue the work and also to ensure that there is no break in our efforts due to lack of funds. Therefore, permission may be granted to State Governments to issue special Pandemic Relief Bonds. We have also requested the Prime Minister to increase our borrowing limit to 5%. Similarly, loans from external agencies for epidemic control measures and reconstruction activities may be exempted from the State’s borrowing limit.” The government is expecting a favourable response in this regard.
*12 fresh Covid-19 cases & 13 recoveries in Kerala today, total 258 patients under treatment*
A dozen new cases of the Coronavirus infection were confirmed in Kerala today. Kannur and Kasargod districts reported four cases each, two in Malappuram district, and one each in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts. 11 have got infected through primary (local) contact with other patients and one of them has come from abroad.
On the positive side, 13 patients tested negative today - six in Ernakulam district, three in Kannur district, and two each from Idukki and Malappuram districts.
Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today announced that eight foreign nationals from Italy and the UK including few who were in serious condition have recovered and cured of the disease. Seven of them were undergoing treatment at the Ernakulam Medical College Hospital and one in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. “The recovery of this tourist group which had 83 and 76-year-olds is a testimony to our robust healthcare system and good treatment extended to these patients.”
It’s been 100 days since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the State and since then, a total of 357 cases have been confirmed and currently, 258 patients are under treatment in different hospitals.
Continuing with the trend in the last few days, the total number of people under observation in Kerala has further come down. Overall, 1,36,195 people are under observation with 1,35,472 persons under home observation and the rest 723 in hospitals. 153 persons were hospitalised today. So far, 12,710 samples have been sent for testing and 11,469 have reported no infection.
The Chief Minister said, “There is good progress in testing and further testing capabilities are being added. We will be staring four new labs for testing in the next four days, thus taking the total number of labs in the State to 14. This would ensure that there is at least one lab in each district in Kerala. The order for testing in private labs has also been issued”, 
“It is really unfortunate that people from Kasargod district are still being denied treatment in hospitals at Mangalore. We will improve the medical facilities in Kasargod and if necessary, airlift patients requiring emergency medical assistance to nearby districts in Kerala. There are several patients from bordering districts of Tamil Nadu undergoing treatment at Thiruvananthapuram - at Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences, Trivandrum Medical College and Regional Cancer Centre. Kerala does not have a policy of denying treatment to anyone” he added. 
It may be recalled that 11 persons have so far died in Kasargod district as they could not access medical facilities in Mangalore since the borders roads were blocked by the Karnataka Government. 
Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Smt K K Shailaja Teacher; Revenue Minister, Shri E Chandrasekharan, and Chief Secretary, Shri Tom Jose IAS were also present during the media briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the State.