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Covid-19: Soaring cases, deluge of transmissions sink Kerala’s record

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

A deluge of primary and secondary transmissions, multiple clusters, and super spreaders have sunk Kerala’s assiduously built record as an efficient manager of the Covid-19 situation, and indicates that community transmission may have occurred in some affected areas, bar the shouting.

The signs are all over – infections through primary and secondary contacts skyrocketing, to numbers more than double of the daily new cases on successive days last week. The number of new cases have been soaring since July thanks to a ramp-up in sample testing.

This even prompted the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front to allege that the State may have been biding its time to come out with the true numbers of the infected merely to divert public attention away from major issues on the political front, including loss of face from a sensational gold smuggling case.

Saving kits for rainy day

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had gone on record saying that the government did not want to waste precious testing kits during April and May that saw the new infection numbers flatten and numbers of those held under quarantine at homes or under surveillance in hospitals had dwindled to the minimum.

The kits were being saved for the ‘rain day’ when the lockdown would ease and citizens start arriving home from red zones within India as well as from abroad. Sure enough, the daily numbers of daily positive cases as well the death toll began to rise from mid-May and into June.

After an interval, active cases (3,743) are fast catching up with recoveries (4,095) with death toll at 31, as of Sunday. The only saving grace is the low mortality rate (0.39 per cent) compared to neighbouring states such as Tamil Nadu (1.42 per cent); Karnataka (1.77 per cent); and Telangana (1.03 per cent).

Lags neighbouring States

But it lags on other parameters such as total number of tests and tests per million, which is 3,47,529 and 9,894, respectively. For Tamil Nadu, it is 16,09,448 and 21,262; for Karnataka, 8,39,074 and 12,752. But fared better than Telangana whose numbers are 1,70,324 and 4,576.

Out of the total number of 7,873 cases identified in the State as on Sunday, share of infections through contacts has jumped many times over to 22.10 per cent. The rest are imported cases from citizens arriving from other states within the country and from countries abroad.

The largest number of infections through primary or secondary contacts is in Thiruvananthapuram after a super spreader was identified at Poonthura, a fishermen hamlet in the densely populated coastal stretch. Warning has been sounded out along the coasts of adjoining Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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