Covid test positivity rate (TPR) has sustained at around the 18 per cent level for the third day on Friday (18.05 per cent) when 23,260 new cases (slightly higher than the previous day) were identified on a tested sample base of 1,28,817.

The day also saw 131 more deaths being reported, taking the cumulative toll so far during the pandemic to 23,296, according to Health Department data.

4,000+ cases in Thrissur

The active case pool has come down further to 1,88,926 rose slightly from Thursday's 1,86,190 largely because recoveries on Friday at 20,388 trailed the 26,563 of the previous day. The number of inpatients on Friday had dipped to 26,362 from 27,016 on Thursday.

On Friday, daily new cases from a single district (Thrissur) breached the 4,000-mark yet again at 4,013 followed by Ernakulam (3,143); Kozhikode (2,095); Thiruvananthapuram (2,045); Malappuram (1,818); Alappuzha (1,719); and Palakkad (1,674), showing a southerly bias of transmission.

Medical, tech courses

Meanwhile, the State government ordered all higher education institutions, including professional colleges to open from October 4 and begin classes for the final year graduate (5th/6th semesters) and post-graduate courses (3rd/4th semesters).

The whole batch of students may be allowed to attend the post-graduate courses while it will be 50 per cent of the batch for the graduate courses, which may be taken as a separate batch and can attend classes on alternate days or at another location the same day in case if space allows.

Keep Covid protocol

Classrooms, library and laboratories must be mandatorily sanitised, and for this, the concerned higher education institutions may seek the help of the concerned local self-government institution, healthcare workers or volunteering agencies.

Administrators of the higher education institutions must ensure that students follow Covid-19 protocols within the campus. Suitable and adequate arrangements must be made for making available handwash facilities, face masks and thermal scanners, the order said.