Kerala on Wednesday reported 31,445 new cases of the coronavirus and 215 deaths due to the infection in the last 24 hours, PTI reported. The positivity rate stood at 19.03%.

This was the first instance since May 20 when the state logged more than 30,000 infections, according to PTI. The number of cases rose 29.42% from Tuesday’s count of 24,296.

For over a month, Kerala has been reporting the highest number of cases among all states. On Tuesday, it accounted for nearly 65% of the total cases detected across the country.

On Tuesday, state Health Minister Veena George had called for increased vigil over the next four weeks, NDTV reported. She had warned that the number of cases was expected to rise in the next 10 days due to public gatherings during the festival of Onam.

Onam was celebrated in Kerala on August 21.

On Wednesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan cited Kerala’s example and advised other states to take precautionary measures during the upcoming festive season between October and November, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has criticised the Kerala government for failing to curb the rise in cases in the state.

On Wednesday, Union minister V Muraleedharan cited Tuesday’s case count and said that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had failed to protect residents of the state.

“Vijayan’s illogical strategy and motivated media propaganda costing dearly to the nation,” the minister tweeted.