Kerala alone accounts for over 68% of India's new Covid-19 caseload
India on Thursday recorded 46,164 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, according to Union health ministry data, which pushed up the nationwide tally to 3,25,58,530. The country has seen the daily infection count spike, by over 20,000, and the reason for it is the resurgence of Covid-19 in some states, especially Kerala.
According to health ministry data, Kerala alone accounts for over 68 per cent of India's caseload on Thursday. According to state health department, the southern state recorded 31,445 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest in three months. Ernakulam (with 4,048 cases) and Thrissur (with 3,865 cases) are the worst affected districts.
The test positivity rate (TPR) in Kerala is 19.03%, also the highest in the last three months.
The state government said that the reason for the spike is the festival of Onam, which was celebrated last week. “We expected a hike after Onam. A special drive is on to increase testing and vaccination. Since sero prevalence is very low in Kerala we have to find the infected and quarantine them at the earliest,” Kerala health minister Veena George said on Wednesday.
Markets were jam-packed ahead of the festival; last year, too, the state saw a surge in cases after Onam.
The fourth round of the sero survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research in July showed antibody prevalence was 67. 7% nationally but it was only 42.7 % in Kerala, meaning a huge chunk of its population is still susceptible to the virus. However, this theory is yet to be proven, and ICMR itself has said it does not make sense to disaggregate its overall sero-prevalence number across states.
At a high-level meeting on Wednesday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan cautioned the states regarding a spike/surge in Covid cases during the upcoming festival season and advised them to undertake all possible public health measures to curb this. He cited the example of Kerala.
Another state which has been a cause of concern for the Centre is Maharashtra. The daily Covid-19 cases breached the 5,000 mark in Maharashtra - already the worst affected state - after a gap of five days on Wednesday.