Kerala’s concerns rise after 24 people who returned turn Covid-19 positive
Out of a total of 690 cases so far, 177 are active while 510 people have been discharged from hospitals while four have died, CM Vijayan said, adding that the rising number was a real concern.Updated: May 21, 2020 19:51 IST
Kerala reported 24 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, all of whom had returned either from foreign countries or other Indian states, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Fourteen of the 24 had returned from foreign countries and 10 came from other states, he said.
Out of a total of 690 cases so far, 177 are active while 510 people have been discharged from hospitals while four have died, Vijayan said, adding that the rising number was a real concern.
Kerala, which has maintained good recovery and low mortality rates, is planning to strengthen its surveillance measures following a steady rise in Covid-19 cases.
Cases went up sharply in the state with the arrival of expatriates and people stranded in other parts of the country. 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 originated outside.
“A big relief is that not a single case was reported due to local transmission. Eight people also recovered today. But the 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 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.
On Wednesday, Vijayan had made it clear that home quarantine meant room quarantine and those undergoing it will have to be barred from interacting with other family members at home.
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.