Covid-19 death toll rises to 5 in Kerala, 24 new cases reported
Kerala has reported another Covid-19 death taking the casualties toll to five on Thursday while the state reported 24 fresh cases, all of whom had returned to the state from outside, the state health ministry said.
The victim, a 73-year-old woman suffering from many ailments including high blood pressure and diabetes, had returned to the state from Mumbai two days ago by road. She died in a hospital in Thrissur on Wednesday but her samples were tested positive late on Thursday, it said.
Her son, ambulance driver and another person who accompanied them from Mumbai were put under observation. Her body will be buried under the strict Covid protocol. After the latest death high alert has been sounded in Thrissur district.
Earlier in the day Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 24 new cases were reported in the state. With steady rise in cases, the state which has maintained a good recovery and low mortality rates, has decided to strengthen its surveillance measures.
The 24 new cases took Kerala’s tally to 690 out of which 177 are active while 510 people have been discharged from hospitals, said the CM. He said the rising number of Cvoid-19 cases was a real concern. Cases went up sharply in the state with the arrival of expatriates and people stranded in other parts of the country. Among 24 fresh cases 14 are foreign returnees and 10 came from other states, he said.
At least 78,000 have returned to the state by rail, air and road in the last two weeks and more than 90 per cent of the recent cases are imported ones. “A big relief is that not a single case was reported due to local transmission. Eight persons recovered also. Rising number is a big concern and we have to increase our surveillance,” the CM said.
Vijayan warned that the state should brace itself for a situation given the rate of increase in new cases. But he reiterated that it was wrong to dub expatriates as super spreaders.
With Covid-19 numbers rising, the government has asked neibghbourhood watch committees and primary health workers to increase their house-level visits to ensure that returnees are adequately isolated in their homes. The government has received several complaints that people in home quarantine interact with other family members regularly.
A senior health official said the state is desperate to contain secondary infections but it was a tightrope walk between “imported cases” and all-out containment strategies.