29,836 new Covid cases in Kerala, TPR at 19.67%

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 29, 2021

Police personnel on duty at statue checking vehicles as part of lock down enforcement, in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday   -  Mahinsha S

Health Minister announces new testing strategy

Kerala, which has reinstated the weekend lockdown after a while, reported 29,836 cases on Sunday with a test postivity rate(TPR) of 19.67 per cent. As many as 75 deaths were reported. Number of samples tested was 1,51,670 which was comparatively lower than the weekdaysleading to a drop in number of cases reported.

However, two other important parameters which are being monitored saw a rise. These are the active case pool that crossed the two-lakh mark to reach 2,12,566 and hospital admissions (30,000 to 30,055).

The number of wards/panchayats with a weekly infection population ratio (WIPR) above the threshold of eight per cent remained unchanged at 353 under 70 local self-government jurisdictions. A WIPR above the threshold level invites a triple lockdown and other restrictions to the affected area.

Also read: Kerala orders own seroprevalence survey next month

On Sunday, Thrissur district accounted for the highest number of infections of 3,965 followed by Kozhikode (3,548); Malappuram (3,190); and Ernakulam (3,178). Three other districts had a daily number above 2,000 each and five others above 1,000, the State Health Department said.

New testing strategy

Meanwhile, Health Minister Veena George said that Kerala will adopt a new testing strategy in the context of 71 per cent of the population having received the first dose of the Covid vaccine. The new strategy will seek to assess the spread and identify clusters by testing sentinel and random samples.

In districts where 80 per cent of the population has received the first dose, all persons with tell-tale symptoms of throat pain, cough and diarrhoea will be subjected to RT-PCR tests. Antigen tests will be conducted at shops, malls, offices and establishment as part of enhanced sentinel surveillance.

The minister advised collections centres to send samples promptly to the labs and upload all positive and negative results on the State portal. Any laxity on their part will be viewed seriously and action would be initiated against them. Health Department officials will also check quality of RT-PCR and antigen kits at random.

Meeting of shop owners

On Sunday, Director-General of Police Anil Kant directed district police officers to convene a meeting of Station House Officers and shop and commercial establishment owners at the panchayat level within two days with a view to enforce Covid protocols at the respective places as part of the containment strategy.

The idea is to persuade shops and establishments to increasingly adopt home delivery and digital settlement of transactions to avoid crowding at these outlets.

Published on August 29, 2021

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