Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday reached out to 11 other non-BJP Chief Ministers, stressing the need for jointly taking up the issue of vaccine for all with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a letter to his counterparts in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Delhi, he said that this is the need of the hour as with an expected third wave on the anvil, the only way to deal with it for mass vaccination through which herd immunity can be developed.
Vijayan said all the states should put before the PM the need for giving the vaccines free of cost to all the states, but the Centre is trying to wash its hands of it and asking the states to make its own arrangements even as companies are not that keen to enter into arrangements with the states.
Hence if the Centre invites a global tender for the vaccines, it would be much better and moreover if the burden of vaccines comes on the states, it could well turn out to be huge financial burden, he said. Besides the issue of federalism is also there, he noted.
Meanwhile, Kerala heaved a sigh of relief on Monday as the Covid test positivity rate (TPR) fell to 13.77 per cent, with 12,300 people turning positive from 89,345 samples tested in the past 24 hours.
Incidentally, it is the first time in a month that the TPR fell below 15 per cent.
But despite the fall in the TPR, the number of deaths continues to be high, with 174 fatalities reported on Monday, taking the death toll to 8,815.
A statement issued from the office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the total number of active cases stands at 2,06,982.
The day saw 28,867 people turn negative, taking the total cured in the state to 23,10,385.
Across the state, there were 7,88,202 people under observation at various places which includes 38,377 people at hospitals.
There were 885 hotspots in the state.
Even though the lockdown has been extended till June 9 starting Monday, there have been some relaxations in the norms with various segments of shops allowed to open every other day and on Monday, further relaxations came when people were allowed to go out for morning walks between 5 to 7 a.m. and evening walks between 7 to 9 p.m. every day, but on condition, that there should be no overcrowding and the social distancing norms are maintained.