Kerala reports 19k new Covid cases, 132 deaths
Kerala on Monday reported 19,622 new Covid cases with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 16.17 per cent after 117,261 samples were tested, and 132 deaths, the state health ministry said. The drop in TPR is a result of low testing held on Sunday, the health department confirmed.
In the wake of rising Covid cases and rap from the Centre, on Saturday the government announced that it will impose night curfew across the state Monday onwards, while efforts are on to ramp up Covid testing and vaccination drive.
The total active Covid cases in the state now stand at 209,493, while total fatalities have risen to 20,673. Thrissur reported maximum cases on Monday with 3,177 positive reports, followed by Ernakulam (2,315) and Kozhikode (1,916).
A look at the health ministry statistics shows that at least five districts reported a high TPR average in the last one week, with Thrissur 22.6, Malappuram 22.3, Palakkad 21.7, Kozhikode 21.4 and Wayanad 21.3 per cent leading the charts. The health department has asked the district collectors to take stern action to control the abnormal TPR.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, TPR above 10 per cent is a serious situation, warranting strict measures, including total lockdown. But not a single district is below the criteria. The lowest TPR is in Kasaragod at 10.8. Critically- hit during the first phase, medical experts feel that the northern-most district is likely to have achieved herd immunity.
“The present surge is likely to continue for more than a week. But we have no idea why the night curfew was imposed, usually at night movement is minimum. We are happy finally the government decided to call a meeting of experts which was quite overdue,” said public health expert Dr S S Lal, who was earlier with the WHO.
Despite high TPR and daily cases, there is no unusual rush in hospitals, and at least 30 per cent of the ICU and ventilators beds are vacant. In the last two days, hospital records show but there is a steady rise in normal admission (not serious ones), state health minister Veena George said, adding that the situation is well under control and the Onam festival surge will subside soon.
“Situation is under control. The government will do everything possible to contain the surge. We are planning to vaccinate all eligible by Sept end,” she said.
In the last 24 hours, the country reported 42,909 cases with a TPR of 2.14% and Kerala contributed lion’s share of total cases and Covid-related deaths in the country.