Covid-19: Kerala sees daily case count cross 100 for second day

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 07, 2020

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan   -  THE HINDU

Intensive antibody tests soon to rule out community spread

For the second day on a trot, Kerala recorded more than 100 new cases of Covid-19 in tandem with the continuing inflow of its citizens by air, sea and land from affected destinations in the country and abroad. The total number of arrivals since May is at 1,79,294.

More than a lakh of people are expected to stream into the state from abroad during the rest of June, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Friday. With more than four lakh people have registered to arrive from abroad, the stateis entering a challenging phase as cases mount on an unprecedented scale.

The state reported 108 new cases on Saturday, as against 111 on Friday, the highest in a day in the more than four-month-long fight against the marauding virus. Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed the death of a 15th patient here on Saturday.

Negative test results also up

Of the 108 new infections on Saturday, 64 had come from abroad (the UAE-28, Kuwait-14, Tajikistan-13, Saudi Arabia-4, Nigeria-3, Oman-1 and Ireland-1) and 34 from other states (Maharashtra-15, Delhi-8, Tamil Nadu-5, Gujarat-4, Madhya Pradesh-1 & Andhra Pradesh-1).

Ten were infected through primary contact in apparent signs that community spread may not have taken place yet. Meanwhile on Saturday, test results of as many as 50 patients proved negative today, also the highest yet, offering some respite. The previous days in June had seen 22, 39, 24, 19 and 18 negative results.

Record number under observation

So far, 762 people have been cured of the virus and currently, 1,029 patients are under treatment. The number of people under surveillance reached a record 1.83 lakh people on Friday. Of these, 1,81,482 are under home or institutional quarantine and 1,615 in hospitals. Friday saw 284 new admissions.

During the 24 hours ending on Saturday morning, 3,903 samples were sent for testing, as the state began an intensive testing drive. Till now samples from 81,517 individuals (including the augmented samples) have been sent for testing, of which 77,517 samples are negative.

Intensive antibody tests

In addition, as part of sentinel surveillance, 20,769 samples were collected from high exposure groups, such as health workers and migrant labourers; 19,597 of these samples have been confirmed to be negative. In all, 1,07,796 samples have been tested so far, including 5,510 repeat samples.

On Friday, Chief Minister Vijayan had said antibody tests will be conducted on a large scale to check for community spread in the State. The state has received 14,000 kits through the ICMR. 10,000 of these kits have been distributed among different districts.

Looming challenge

“We will be getting another 40,000 kits in the next three days. The plan is to conduct up to 15,000 antibody tests per week to check for community spread. If anyone’s antibody test is positive, then a PCR test will be conducted to confirm the infection,” the Chief Minister had said.

“The phasing out of lockdown is proving a huge challenge for the state. More than a lakh people are expected to arrive from abroad this month. Resumption of public transport would add to the rush. Concessions and relaxations should not be a reason for the spread of the disease”, he added.

Shrines, malls to open

Meanwhile, places of worship, shrines, shopping malls, hotels, hospitality units, restaurants and offices in the state will open to the public from Tuesday. These places can open on Monday for cleaning and disinfecting, and tomake arrangements to receive the public from the next day, the Chief Minister said.

Standard operating procedures issued by the Centre will be followed. Under these guidelines, people aged over 65 and children below 10 should stay at home. Masks and sanitisers, wherever possible, are a must. Other norms include handwashing with soap, maintaining six feet distance, thermal checking of temperature, maintenance of registers, and separate entry /exit points, wherever possible.

Published on June 07, 2020

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