Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s COVID-19 tally touched 3,503 on Tuesday (June 23) with 141 positive cases being reported and the state witnessing a spike of over 100 cases for the fifth straight day, as chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan sounded an alarm that the situation was becoming “grave”.

A 68-year-old man from Kollam, who had returned from Delhi and tested positive for the virus, died due to the infection on Tuesday, taking the number of deaths so far to 22.

With 60 people recovering on Tuesday from the infection, those presently under treatment have touched 1,620 and 1.50 lakh people are under observation, including 2,206 in hospitals, Vijayan told reporters.

While Pathanamthitta and Palakkad reported 27 cases each, Alappuzha 19, Thrissur 14, Ernakulam 13, Malappuram 11, Kottayam eight, Kozhikode and Kannur six cases each.

Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam had four cases each and Wayanad, two.

Of the positive cases, 79 had come from abroad and 52 from other states and nine, including a health worker, were infected through contact, the chief minister said.

There are 111 hotspots in the state at present.

Asymptomatic cases have also been reported from many places, but experts have said there was no cause for worry.

This is the fifth straight day of over 100 infections being reported, after 118 on June 19, 127 on June 20, 133 on Sunday and 138 on Monday.

Of the 1620 active cases, Malappuram has the highest number of infected patients--197, Palakkad 181, Kollam 149 and Pathanamthitta 147.

"The situation is getting grave and along with this there are people who have tested positive and are asymptomatic. There are some cases where we have not been able to find the source of the infection", the chief minister said.

In 40 % of positive cases in India, the source of infection has not been found, while in Kerala it is below two%, he said.