Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram will remain closed for devotees till October 15, after twelve temple staff, including including the chief priest Periyanambi, tested positive for COVID-19. Also Read - Delhi Records 3,686 New Covid-19 Cases, 47 Deaths; Tally Reaches 3.4 lakh

However, the daily rituals at the temple will continue with the minimum number of employees required. Also Read - Coronavirus Can Cause Male Infertility, Here is How

The temple was opened for devotees on August 27 under strict COVID-19 guidelines after it was closed on March 21 due to the pandemic outbreak. Also Read - Watch: Shocking Video of Rats Running Around Inside ICU of Tamil Nadu Govt Hospital Goes Viral

Meanwhile, even as India reported its first sustained decline in the number of active coronavirus cases in the last two weeks, the situation in Kerala has been on the contrary. The state, which took six months to go from zero to 10,000 COVID cases, is now witnessing a second wave of the pandemic. Kerala’s burden of active cases has risen more than two-fold over the last two weeks, to 92,246. This is a tenth of the total count in India. Only Maharashtra and Karnataka have more, but their spreads are much slower.

Eight of the 10 districts with the worst spikes in infections in the last week are in Kerala. The case-load jumped over 20% in all 14 districts of the state in this period.

On Thursday, Kerala reported 5,445 new cases of COVID-19. There are 2,71,439 people under observation in various districts of the state while 2,42,056 under home or institutional quarantine and 29,383 in isolation at hospitals.