New Delhi: It has been a backward slope for Kerala as from no new cases for consecutive days, Kerala — the state to have recorded the first coronavirus case in India — has vaulted back to a stage where after flattening the curve, the state is now seeing the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases. But this was expected, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “We cannot close the doors on them. When people are returning from hot spots, the rise in cases was expected. We need to protect them and ensure that those here are not infected. What we need to understand is that the situation is serious and there is a need to strengthen our guard against the virus,” he said.Also Read - Delhi to Lift Weekend Curfew, Curbs on Markets Soon; Final Decision Tomorrow

In the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in Kerala so far, 42 people, including 21 returnees from Maharashtra, have tested positive for the virus on Friday, taking the infection tally to 732 while over 80,000 are under observation. One person each from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides two from Kerala and 17 from abroad have also tested positive, Vijayan told reporters here. The baby and his relatives are undergoing treatment in Palakkad. Also Read - Study Finds Way to Get Super Immunity Against Covid-19

The relaxation of lockdown restrictions is not for celebrations, the CM said as the state government announced its quarantine protocols for the air travellers who will be coming to the state once domestic flights resume operations from May 25. Also Read - IMF Projects Global Economy To Grow At 4.4%, Cuts India's Economy Growth Forecast To 9% in FY 22

All those who reach the state by such flights will have to undergo 14 days quarantine as per the lockdown protocol but exempted people coming for business needs from this. “Some business executives may visit the state for a meeting or something and we cannot demand 14 days quarantine for them,” Vijayan said, adding that necessary health precautions will be taken in their case.

The COVID-19 tally in the state has climbed to 732, while 216 are presently under treatment. At least 84,258 are under observation in the state while 83,649 are under home or institutional quarantine, and 609 are in various hospitals.

Among the fresh cases, Kannur reported 12, Kasaragod seven, Kozhikode and Palakkad five each, Thrissur and Malapuram four each, Kottayam two, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad one case each.