15,000 Covid reinfections in Kerala district? 10 findings of Central team
A high number of old, diabetic patients has created a susceptible pool in Kerala, the Centre said, sounding a warning for the upcoming Onam festival.
The six-member central team which visited the eight districts of Kerala to investigate the sudden surge in the number of Covid cases on Tuesday presented its findings and sounded an alert that though the state government has taken timely action, the situation may worsen. Kerala is projected to witness cumulative incidence cases of 4.64 lakh as the state has a high transmission rate, the report said. Kerala has a reproductive value of 1.12, which means every 100 infected people are spreading the infection to 112 other people, the report added. National Centre for Disease Control's director Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh who headed the central team said that the reopening of tourism, the approaching Onam festival pose a serious threat to Kerala's Covid situation.
Here are the 10 findings of the central team
1. Kerala did not define containment zones according to the Centre's guidelines. There was no buffer zone between containment zones and areas which were not contained.
2. Kerala reviewed its containment classification as per 7-day moving average but it actually takes 14 days, Dr Singh said.
3. 55 per cent population in Kerala, as found in ICMR's national serosurvey, is still susceptible to Covid infection.
4. Delta is another reason for the huge spike as the central team found that 88 to 90 per cent of cases are that of Delta strain.
5. Kerala has witnessed a high number of reinfections that is people got infected even after two doses of the vaccine. While this is never ruled out and breakthrough infection is not a new thing either in the world or in India, the number is very high in Kerala.
6. According to data, submitted by the district authorities to the Central team, Kerala's Patnamthitta has reported 14,974 cases of reinfections. Among these reinfection cases, 5,042 are those who have been vaccinated with both doses, as claimed by the district authorities.
7. Dr Sujeet Singh said the Centre has asked the district authorities to provide more information about reinfection as to how many days after the second dose the reinfection happened, or whether these reinfection cases were severe or not. Only after going through these details, it will be possible to ascertain why Kerala and Patnamthitta specifically reported such a high number of reinfections.
8. Kerala is home to a high number of the older population, which too contributed to the unnatural rise. The presence of diabetes in the state is 30 per cent, which also helped in creating a susceptible pool in the state, as this is a co-morbid condition.
9. Intra-house transmission is very high in Kerala as 80 per cent of people are on home isolation
10. The state had no measure to cut transmission and depended on passive surveillance which involved strict tracking and tracing of new infections. "But it is also important to cut the transmission. We should not achieve herd immunity through natural infection because that will lead to an uncontrollable rise in the number of cases," Dr Singh said.