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Kerala logs 38k cases, CM calls for ‘self lockdown’

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Covid -19 graph showed another alarming rise on Thursday as the daily caseload rose to 38,607 with a high test positivity rate of 24
PUBLISHED ON APR 30, 2021 12:12 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Covid -19 graph showed another alarming rise on Thursday as the daily caseload rose to 38,607 with a high test positivity rate of 24.5%, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The worried government has coined another term ‘self-lockdown’ urging people to realise the gravity of the situation and prepare themselves to help contain the surge.

This is the third consecutive day that cases are crossing 30,000-mark in the state. Apart from other measures, the government also decided to set up new oxygen plants in hospitals and oxygen parlours in worst-affected areas. District collectors have been asked to monitor oxygen stock regularly, Vijayan said.

“The situation is really serious. People will have to get into self-lockdown to contain the surge. We have requested all who visit market places to wear double masks. There is no room for any complacency now,” he said, adding more curbs will be imposed from May 4 to 9. To attract more volunteers the government has also decided to give certificates to those who volunteer at least 10 days in the Covid task force.

The average test positivity rate (TPR) which was a little over 16 to 19% last week, has risen to 24 to 26% this week showing the rapid surge in cases. There are at least five districts which reported more than 20% TPR, data released by the health ministry shows. The active caseload has also risen to 2,84,086. Last month it was well below one lakh.

During the first wave, only 3% of the diseased ended up in hospitals but this time their numbers are between 8.5 and 10%, medical experts said. The state has also tweaked its strict discharge policy to accommodate more patients and ease pressure on hospitals. Normal and ICU admissions continue to rise exponentially and hospitals have been strictly told to admit only serious patients. “There is no need to panic if symptoms are minor and crowd hospitals. It will put undue pressure on hospitals and the more needy ones will be left out in the process,” the CM said.

On Thursday the state reported 48 deaths taking total fatalities to 5,259. Ernakulam district topped the list with maximum cases 5396, Kozhikode 4990 and Thrissur 3954 cases. There are around 1700 critically ill patients who are being cared in ICUs. Last month their numbers were well below 500.

As cases soar alarmingly the government medical officers association has asked the government to impose a two-week lockdown on the lines of neighbouring Karnataka. Earlier, the Indian Medical Association had also raised such a demand. But the government was shying away from it saying it would affect the livelihood of many.

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