Covid-19: At least 51 clusters identified in Kerala as contact infections soar

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 14, 2020

State’s pandemic defence strategy among the best, says CM

Kerala reported 449 new active Covid-19 cases on Monday, the fourth day when they breached the 400-mark, while 144 got infected through contacts even as the State government admitted to the existence of 51 clusters including two large community clusters.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters that the State has maintained a good performance on containing the spread of the virus disease. Its preventive measures were successful and the model adopted effective, he said while holding forth on the four strategic indicators where it has performed well.

These include mortality rate, disease spread, testing and recovery. The State currently has a case fatality rate (deaths per 100 positive cases) of 0.39 per cent compared to the national average of 2.67 per cent and the world average of 4.38 per cent. Neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have much higher rates. Number of deaths per million in Kerala is 0.9 as against the national figure of 17.

Pandemic defence strategy

“These figures bear testimony to the fact that we have been able to prevent many Covid-19 deaths. This is not meant to prove anything other than expose the false and deliberate propaganda about our pandemic defence strategy. The government’s policy has always been to increase the number of tests,” Vijayan added.

The test positivity rate (positive cases per 100 tests) of 2.27 is comparable to world figures. Average test positivity rate in India is 7.46 and much higher in Kerala’s neighbouring States. Tests per million versus cases per million is an indicator of how many tests are being done in proportion to a positive case.

“It is advisable to keep the value of this indicator above 50. In Kerala, tests per million versus cases per million is now 44. In case a high number of positive cases were to emerge, the number of tests will be increased and the number will be increased to 50 immediately,” the Chief Minister said.

Way ahead of peers

“Our current figure is way better than other States and the national figure of 13. We are also ahead in terms of conducting tests. We lead others in preventing the outbreak, controlling mortality and conducting adequate tests, which has earned us worldwide recognition. All of us are working together to maintain it,” he added.

During the last 24 hours ending Monday noon, 12,230 samples were tested. A total of 4,16,282 samples have been sent for testing so far. In addition, as part of sentinel surveillance, another 74,676 samples were collected from high-risk groups of which as many as 78,002 samples were found negative.

The Chief Minister said that a triple lockdown has been implemented in the coastal areas to contain the spread of the pandemic, especially in Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Thrissur and Malappuram. He also announced that a special action plan has been prepared to prevent further of the spread.

Special action plan

Intensive efforts are on to detect contact and infection in the identified 51 clusters. Reverse quarantine (where the aged and the vulnerable are quarantined in advance) and awareness drives are being intensified. First-line treatment centres are being established with co-operation of leaders of various sections of the society and public and best quarantine facilities being worked out.

“An unbridled rise in the number of patients would make our task tough since it would jack up the need for ICUs, ventilators and other support facilities. Those who need reverse quarantine could become more susceptible to infection. The health department is making all needed arrangements with the support of all departments, including disaster management and Police,” the Chief Minister said.

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Published on July 14, 2020
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