Thiruvananthapuram, March 28: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said the state would be conducting "rapid tests" in the days to come to check if coronavirus is entering into the "community spread" stage. At present, the COVID-19 outbreak in all affected Indian states is said to be in "stage 2" -- where the cases of infections are either of those who returned from abroad or came in close contact to such persons. Catch live news updates of coronavirus outbreak in India and other parts of the world.

If the disease transcends into "stage 3" of the outbreak, then coronavirus would spread across communities -- as seen in China, Italy, Spain, Iran, Germany, UK and the United States. At this stage, the number of cases would keep multiplying as those infected would include those who neither share any recent travel history nor came in contact with foreign returnees.

"Total 165 COVID19 cases are under treatment; Rapid tests to be conducted to understand whether there is any community spread," Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that six more cases were detected in the state today

"Six more coronavirus positive cases in Kerala - two from Thiruvananthapuram and one each from Kollam, Malappuram, Kasaragod and Palakkad districts," the Chief Minister added.

Kerala is the second-worst affected state in India due to coronavirus, as it has reported 165 infections so far. The list is headed by Maharashtra, where a total of 177 cases were reported by Friday. Nationwide, the number of infections is nearing the 1000-mark, whereas, the death toll climbed to 21. Globally, the pandemic has affected over 550,000 persons and claimed more than 25,000 lives.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 28, 2020 06:51 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website