Thiruvananthapuram: For the second consecutive day, Kerala on Monday reported more number of COVID-19 patients cured of the disease than positive cases, with 19 of them discharged and three being hospitalised. 

With the three new cases, the total number of coronavirus affected people in the state is now 378.

"While two people from Kannur tested positive, one case was reported from Palakkad. Two of them are primary contacts of the infected person and one was a foreign returnee," chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after an evaluation meet.

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Out of the 19 cured, 12 were from Kasaragod, three each from Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts, and one from Kannur.

"As of now, the state has 178 active cases and at least 1,12,183 persons are under observation, of which 715 are in isolation wards," Vijayan said, adding that 15,683 samples have been sent for testing till now.

He said the state has now been testing at least 1,000 samples per day. Vijayan also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange special flights to bring back those stranded in the Gulf.

All international health protocols can be followed while extending this facility, he said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

The chief minister said the state government would take care of the testing and quarantine needs of the Keralites after they return.

Vijayan also came down heavily on the behaviour of some people who came out of their homes in large numbers in various parts of the state on the eve of Vishu (Malayalam new year) and said they "behaved as if the lockdown period had ended".

Asked about the reduction of number of positive cases in Kerala, the chief minister said the credit goes to the people of the state who strictly followed the lockdown.

"Apart from the police, health and other government officials, the people of the state have played a major role in controlling the pandemic. We all know how difficult it is to sit at home under quarantine. I would like to thank all those who have followed the instructions," he said.

Health minister K K Shailaja said the state should continue its vigil against COVID-19 and cautioned that it was not yet time to be completely relieved as neighbouring states were seeing a spike in numbers, which was a cause of concern.