After one more person testing positive, 15 Zika virus cases so far in Kerala

One more person has been infected with the Zika virus in Kerala, taking the total number of cases in the state to 15, state Health Minister Veena George told news agency ANI.

This comes a day after George had said that the state has 14 Zika virus cases. George had said that the state government has decided to intensify vector-control activities, and the state health department is on high alert.

She had said that the Kerala government has worked on an action plan to manage the number of Zika virus infections and the situation is being closely monitored.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Zika has been reported in Kerala and it was not unexpected as it is spread by the Aedes Aegypte mosquitoes, which causes dengue and Chickungunya. Vector control units at the district and state level would be further strengthened, he told reporters.

Veena George on Saturday categorically denied fudging in COVID death data after the first wave of coronavirus struck the state.

Responding to the allegations, she said that the state has been adhering to the guidelines of WHO and ICMR to classify COVID deaths, adding that the number of deaths reported after the first wave was almost correct.

She added that the state government has made it even more transparent by doing real-time data entry.

"We're following the guidelines of WHO and ICMR to classify COVID deaths. We had conducted a COVID death analysis after the first wave and found out that our numbers were almost correct. We have made it more transparent by doing the real-time entry, said the Kerala Health Minister while speaking to ANI today.

It was alleged that the Kerala government was underreporting the number of deaths that had taken place due to COVID-19.

She further said, "For COVID, we've always tried to keep the number of cases below medical capacity. No one died in Kerala due to lack of oxygen supply."

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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