With spike in Covid-19 cases, demand for hospital beds, ICU goes up in Kerala

Published on Aug 14, 2021 01:09 AM IST

The Kerala government has tightened regulations after many experts warned that Covid-19 cases may go up after Onam festivities—though the festive season has begun it will peak with Thiru Onam on August 21.

Around 70 per cent of those infected with the viral infection remain in home quarantine and those critical with co-morbid conditions have been approaching hospitals. (PTI PHOTO.)
Around 70 per cent of those infected with the viral infection remain in home quarantine and those critical with co-morbid conditions have been approaching hospitals. (PTI PHOTO.)

As the coronavirus graph continues to shoot up in Kerala for almost two months now, the pressure is visible on the overworked health machinery and demand for beds and ventilators too are on the rise. Hospitalisation has gone up considerably, but there is no shortage of oxygen visible in private and government hospitals.

According to health ministry statistics, ICU occupancy of Covid-19 patients (both private and government) has gone up from 2101 to 2175 on Friday but those on ventilators dropped from 800 to 780. Around 70 per cent of those infected remain in home quarantine and those critical with co-morbid conditions have been approaching hospitals. But increased home isolation invited more trouble-- many experts said large families are turning transmission hubs in the state.

For the last one week, the average daily hospital admission count is 3000 but 2000 are getting discharged on an average maintaining the active caseload, statistics show. As the state is resorting to targeted testing many experts have asked it to do random testing and double the testing rate.

On Friday, when 20,452 people tested positive 16,856 turned negative maintaining the balance somehow. When 1,42, 501 samples were tested 20,452 turned positive with a test positivity rate of 14.35%. On Friday, the national caseload was 40,120 with TPR below 3 per cent. But the state’s average TPR in last two weeks is above 12 per cent. Like the daily Covid-19 cases, the deaths rate is also going up--on Friday the state reported 114 fatalities taking the death toll to 18,394

The Kerala government has tightened regulations after many experts warned that Covid-19 cases may go up after Onam festivities—though the festive season has begun it will peak with Thiru Onam on August 21. “Post Onam surge can be expected in the state. Therefore it is best to keep the social bubble minimum this season,” said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, senior consultant and public health activist.

Kerala health minister Veena George has also asked people to be more vigilant. “Though cases are on the rise, compared to last week, the situation is under control. There is no need to panic. Our effort is to vaccinate maximum people and the Centre has been approached for more doses,” she said.

The state health ministry said 2,28,29,007 people were given vaccines till Thursday. Out of these 1,58,70, 802 were given first dose and the rest got both doses. Of the total population 45.5 per cent were given first dose and 18.41% were given both doses. In vaccination coverage, Kerala is better placed when compared to other states and it has got a zero per cent wastage also. The state has vaccinated 55 per cent of its eligible population against the national average of 42%, according to the health ministry data.

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