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Covid-19: Heavy monsoon could upset Kerala quarantine plans

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 15, 2020 Published on May 15, 2020

File photo All out: Kerala ramped up testing to tackle the mid-March spike in Covid-19 cases   -  REUTERS

State tipped off rain intensity, 26 new infections on Thursday

The Kerala government has been tipped off about the possibility of heavy monsoon showers this year, growing likely intensely heavy in August as in the last couple of years, which it fears could upset its fight against the Covid-19 virus and compromise its home/hospital quarantine schedule for those showing symptoms.

This is a major challenge, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on a day when 26 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day jump in a fortnight, severely dented its overall morbidity status. Of these, 10 were from Kasaragod district; five from Malappuram; three each from Palakkad and Wayanad; two from Kannur; and one each from Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kozhikode. The present spike has coincided with arrivals of its citizens via air, land and sea routes from a week ago. The highest daily tally of positive cases till date is 39, reported on March 27.

Grave challenge ahead

Seven of those identified as carriers on Thursday had recently returned from abroad - five from the UAE and one each from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Seven had come back from outside states within the country - four from Mumbai, two from Chennai and one from Bengaluru. Eleven constituted cases of local transmission - seven in Kasaragod, three in Wayanad district and one in Palakkad. These include two health workers in Kasaragod and one police personnel from Wayanad. The Idukki case was detected through tests conducted as part of sentinel surveillance.

“The rise in the number of new cases are an indication of the crisis we are facing but we are confident that we can overcome this pandemic. We will use all resources available at our disposal to tackle the situation. We will be rolling out a specialised treatment protocol,” the Chief Minister said, even as he alluded to the death of 124 Keralites outside the state and offered condolences. “The new normal demands that we learn to live with the virus. Wear face masks and stay apart. Shopping at markets or malls should now have to be timed to predestined slots. Avoid all needless travel,” he added.

TABLE 1: Covid-19: Snapshot from Kerala (As on Thursday, May 14)

District

Total number under observation

Home quarantines

In hospitals

New admissions on May 14

No of deaths

Thiruvananthapuram

4561

4518

43

18

1

Kollam

1338

1334

4

2

 

Pathanamthitta

1408

1402

6

2

 

Idukki

1446

1443

3

1

 

Kottayam

1892

1884

8

7

 

Alappuzha

2147

2140

7

3

 

Ernakulam

2784

2748

36

12

1

Thrissur

1919

1896

23

4

 

Palakkad

5759

5723

36

5

 

Malappuram

3102

3038

64

45

1

Kozhikode

4323

4290

33

21

 

Wayanad

1956

1934

22

8

 

Kannur

2847

2801

46

11

 

Kasaragod

1428

1211

217

35

 

Total

36,910

36,362

548

174

 

Total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in State

560

 

Number of recovered

493

3

TABLE 2: Number of cases undergoing treatment as on May 14

District

No of confirmed cases

Thiruvananthapuram

-

Kollam

-

Pathanamthitta

2

Alappuzha

-

Kottayam

2

Idukki

1

Ernakulam

4

Thrissur

2

Palakkad

6

Malappuram

11

Kozhikode

3

Wayanad

14

Kannur

5

Kasaragod

14

Total

64

174 admitted on Thursday

On Thursday, three patients under treatment for the infection recovered. Two patients in Kollam and one in Kannur tested negative, the Chief Minister said. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the state is 560 and presently 64 patients are under treatment in different hospitals. There are 36,910 persons under surveillance across the districts of which 36,362 are are under home quarantine and 548 are under isolation at hospitals. On Thursday, 174 persons were admitted fresh to hospitals.

Till now, 40,692 samples have been sent for testing and 39,619 samples have been confirmed with no infection. As part of sentinel surveillance of the high-risk group, 4,347 samples were collected separately and tested. Out of these, 4,249 samples have tested negative. In about the only saving grace on Thursday, 19 places were removed from the list of hotspots, leaving their current number at 15.

Request to Railways

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister took exception to the current system where those from outside the state are allowed travel home by trains and book seats through IRCTC to various stops. “This undermines our measures to prevent the spread of the disease as we do not know the passenger details. I have asked the Railway Minister to allow online booking of tickets to Kerala only for those who register on our Covid Jagratha portal as well as to run special non-stop trains from other places so that the can head home. This should in addition to the trains being announced and run by Railways now,” he added.

Published on May 15, 2020

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