THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One more person tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 25, as the Left government announced a Rs 20,000 crore financial package to tide over the present crisis being faced by the southern state in the wake of the virus outbreak.

The multi-crore special package includes Rs 500 crore health package, Rs 2,000 crore loans and free ration.

The man who tested positive had returned from Dubai and hailed from the northern Kasaragod district, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a COVID-19 review meeting.

He said 65 people were hospitalised on Thursday.

“At least 31,173 people are under surveillance, of whom 237 are in observation in hospitals across the state” he said.

Detailing the financial package, Vijayan said loans worth Rs 2,000 crore would be made available to needy families through all-women network ‘Kudumbashree’ during April-May.

Rural employment guarantee programmes worth Rs 1,000 crore each will be implemented in April-May, he said.

Social security pension of Rs 1,320 crore, to be given in April, would be distributed this month, he said, adding that 50 lakh people are benefited through the pension scheme.

Those belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) and Anthyodaya, who are not receiving social security pension, would be given Rs 1,000 each, for which Rs 100 crore would be earmarked.

Cutting across APL and BPL families, 10 kg free ration would be given and Rs 100 crore would be set apart for the purpose, he said.

A string of 1,000 low-cost hotels, providing food at Rs 20, would be opened across the state next month, the chief minister added.

The ‘fitness’ charges of autorickshaws and taxis and one month tax of stage and contract carriages would be waived, Vijayan said.

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