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Covid-19: Fewer numbers in hospital and no new cases make it Kerala's day

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 18, 2020 Published on March 18, 2020

The Government also plans to commandeer the services of medical students for an enhanced state-wide awareness drive.   -  -

Total number of persons under observation for suspected Covid-19 symptoms galloped to 18,011 on Tuesday in Kerala (12,740 the previous day), but new admissions came down to 65 (from 72) without a single fresh positive case being reported, as the state navigates a vulnerable stage 2 of the virus outbreak.

For how long is the crucial question, since the next week or two could invariably test the resilience of the State government machinery that has come so good during the deadly Nipah virus infection in 2018, the devastating floods of 2018 and its near-repeat in 2019. The state's vulnerability goes up a few notches in the context of an expected influx of non-residents at its four international airports in days to come.

Sailing a crucial stage 2

Balram Bhargava, Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research, has observed that the India is still in stage 2 of the virus outbreak, but he could not predict when it will enter stage 3, which is when community transmission takes place. Community transmission is marked by infection found in a person who has not had contact with anyone with a travel history abroad and when the source of the original transmission is difficult to locate.

According to Bhargava, a majority of patients have a history of travel or have come in direct contact with those with a travel history. "We are hoping we don't have stage 3, but we cannot predict it. It depends on how strongly we close our international borders. We have stopped travel to and from Europe, much of the Middle-East and also other countries," he said.

Kerala to set up expert panel

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the State government would set up an expert committee comprising public health professionals and scientists to guide its strategy for dealing with the evolving situation. The government will curate a repository of all scientific studies, research and good practices accessed from all over the world. An interactive web portal is on the anvil for disseminating current information and scientific facts on Covid-19 to the public and healthcare professionals.

The Government also plans to commandeer the services of medical students for an enhanced state-wide awareness drive. The Kerala University of Health Sciences has been roped in to coordinate this initiative. It is also exploring the option of setting up a digital consultation service for the public on all aspects of the disease, with the help of the Indian Medical Association. The Chief Minister requested cooperation from entire medical fraternity in the government's drive to dispel the fear and anxiety in the community over the virus.

Palliative care network

The network of pain and palliative care services would be leveraged to give special attention to the geriatric population as the disease is known to result in high mortality amongst that segment. The government would also set up more Covid-19 testing facilities across districts. There have been lapses in surveillance over the past few days, Vijayan said, calling for high alert and vigil against virus transmission.

Covid-19: Snapshot from Kerala (As on Tuesday, March 17)

District

Total number under observation

Home quarantines

In hospitals

New admissions today (March 17)

Thiruvananthapuram

795

729

66

11

Kollam

667

655

12

1

Pathanamthitta

2500

2478

22

4

Idukki

374

374

0

0

Kottayam

1246

1238

8

1

Alappuzha

1107

1097

10

3

Ernakulam

938

917

21

1

Thrissur

2296

2258

38

7

Palakkad

232

205

27

9

Malappuram

2172

2154

18

7

Kozhikode

4144

4130

14

10

Wayanad

377

377

0

0

Kannur

824

798

26

7

Kasaragod

339

333

6

4

Total

18011

17743

268

65

Total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in State

27

Number of recovered

3

District-wise number of confirmed Covid-19 cases

District

No of confirmed cases

Thiruvananthapuram

4

Pathanamthitta

9

Kottayam

2

Ernakulam

3

Thrissur

1

Malappuram

2

Kannur

1

Idukki

1

Kasaragod

1

Total

24

Covid-19: Confirmed cases-27 ; Under treatment-24

Number of confirmed cases

District

Morbidity

Status update

3

Thrissur

Alappuzha

Kasaragod

Negative

Discharged

5

Pathanamthitta

Positive

Hospitalised

1

Ernakulam

Positive

Hospitalised

8

Pathanamthitta-4

Kottayam-2

Ernakulam-2

Positive

Hospitalised

2

Kannur-1

Thrissur-1

Positive

Hospitalised

3

Thiruvananthapuram-3

Positive

Hospitalised

2

Thiruvananthapuram-1

Idukki-1

Positive

Hospitalised

3

Malappuram-2

Kasaragod-1

Positive

Hospitalised

Source: Department of Health, Kerala

Published on March 18, 2020
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