Spike in locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases new cause for concern in Kerala
In locally- transmitted cases, health authorities are finding it difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in many cases. The state’s proven track, trace and treat strategy is under deep stress due to this, admit health officials.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 20:55 IST
With local transmission of Covid-19 continuing to rise in the state, Kerala has tightened its virus control measures and enforced lockdown in many areas of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial hub Kochi.
With 160 new cases on Thursday, the total number of cases since the outbreak began in January went up to 4752. Out of this, 2678 people have recovered and active cases are 2088, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office. The state has reported 25 deaths so far and 1,78,099 people are under observation now. Among the new cases, 146 are imported, either came from abroad or other states and 14 were infected locally.
In locally- transmitted cases, health authorities are finding it difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in many cases. The state’s proven track, trace and treat strategy is under deep stress due to this, admit health officials. The Covid-19 cluster among Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in Kannur remained a worrying point and health officials later found that poor facilities at the camp triggered the mass infection-- at least 60 personnel have been infected so far.
State health minister K K Shailaja said vigil on home quarantine facilities will be monitored and services of Covid volunteers will be used. The government had earlier formed a volunteer service comprising mainly youth to help grassroot units of the virus management teams. They will keep an eye on those flouting quarantine norms and check possible super spreaders.
In May first week, the state was on the verge of flattening the curve but cases increased after expatriates and people stranded in other parts of the country flocked to the state. At least 1.50 lakh expatriates and 2.50 lakh people from other state arrived in Kerala since lockdown norms were relaxed. At least, 2.50 lakh expatriates are expected from Gulf countries this month and on an average 40-50 flights are coming to four international airports of the state.
As cases increased health workers have started house-to-house surveys in many areas. Since institutional quarantine is leaving a big hole on the state exchequer the government is giving more emphasis on home quarantine these days. It has also tweaked its treatment strategy-- now patients can be discharged after they turn negative for the first time. Earlier the state used to insist for three consecutive negative results for discharge.