As Covid-19 cases gallop, neighbours shut door on Kerala

Updated on Aug 01, 2021 09:50 PM IST

As Kerala is grappling with a high virus caseload, more than one lakh cases in the last five days, neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have put restrictions on people travelling from the state

Image for representation. (AP)
Image for representation. (AP)

As Kerala is grappling with a high virus caseload, more than one lakh cases in the last five days, neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have put restrictions on people travelling from the state.

Tamil Nadu has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for people coming from the state from August 5 and Karnataka said only vaccinated people will be allowed to enter the state. Winding queues are visible outside border check-points as both states tightened measures and Karnataka has also blocked the entry of public transport from the state.

On Sunday also daily cases crossed 20,728, for the last six days it has been reporting over 20,000 cases. It amounted to almost half of the country’s 41,0952 cases. Its test positivity rate (TPR) also remained high at 12.14 per cent while the national average is 2.34%. Active cases also rose to 1,67,379, more than one-third of the active cases of the country, statistics released by the state health ministry shows.

In at least four districts, the reproduction number (R-value) is above 1.2 per cent. R value is an indicator of how quickly the infection is spreading and it gives a clear picture of how many persons, on average, get infected from a Covid-19 patient. Experts said for stabilization, R value should come down below one per cent.

With no end in sight to its pandemic woes, the state government is also planning to redraw its strategies and health minister Veena George said the next three weeks are crucial for the state.

“The latest sero survey shows at least 50 per cent of the population is vulnerable. We have noticed the presence of new Delta variant in different parts of the state,” she said, asking people not to lower their guard at a critical juncture. As many experts talk in terms of a third wave, the minister said the second wave is yet to conclude in the state.

As frequent lockdown is crippling normal lives and failed to restrict TPR now, the government is planning to focus on micro-containment zones and allow shops and business establishments to function as usual. Now, the majority of shops are opening alternately and there is a complete lockdown on the weekends.

The state has witnessed 17 suicides in the last 40 days, mostly due to pandemic-induced financial trouble. Meanwhile, an experts’ team from the Centre for Disease Control visited some of the worst-affected districts in north Kerala. It has asked health officials to ensure that in micro-containment zones restrictions are tightened.

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