Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan admitted on Friday that community transmission of the coronavirus has begun in the state, The New Indian Express reported. Vijayan said the capital Thiruvananthapuram was facing a “grave” situation, as the virus was spreading in coastal areas.

“Community transmission has been confirmed in the Poonthura and Pulluvila areas [of Thiruvananthapuram district],” Vijayan said. In Pulluvila, out of 97 samples tested in the Karungulam Panchayat on Friday, 51 turned out to be positive. At the Ayush centre at Poonthura, among the 50 people who were tested for the virus, 26 were confirmed infected, Vijayan said.

Vijayan said 791 new cases, 133 recoveries and one death have been reported in Kerala on Friday, ANI reported. Of the 791 new infections, 532 are from local transmission, he added. However, in Thiruvananthapuram alone, 246 people tested positive on Friday. The chief minister said the government plans to control the situation through the cooperation of all authorities.

Before Friday, Kerala had reported 10,275 cases of Covid-19, including 37 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The central government and medical bodies so far have maintained that there is still no community transmission in India. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan earlier this week repeated the Centre’s stance that India does not have community transmission of the virus yet.

India on Friday hit the 10-lakh mark, reaching 10,03,832 total cases with 25,602 deaths.

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