Covid-19: Rapid antibody tests ordered in Kerala’s Malappuram district

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 29, 2020

88% of all cases in Kerala are from outside the State

Rapid antibody testing has been ordered in the Malappuram district in North Kerala, with at least 21,000 people being monitored for signs of Covid-19 infection after health workers, including two doctors in two hospitals, tested positive.

The goal is to rule out any chance of community transmission in the district, official sources said here.

At least 1,500 samples would be taken from the Ponnani taluk alone. Malappuram (222) is second only to neighbouring Palakkad (267) in terms of the number of active cases as of Monday morning.

Extended vigil needed

The total number of confirmed cases in the State so far is 4,189; active cases as on Monday are 2,015; and recovered cases, at 2,150. The State government is insisting that there is no sign yet of community transmission, but reported infections with unknown sources have raised the hackles of doctors and health experts. The State should not lower its guard at least until December, they said.

State Minister for Health KK Shailaja said here that 118 new cases and 42 recoveries were confirmed in the State on Sunday. This followed a sudden spike of 195 new cases (102 recoveries) the previous day. Among the newly detected cases on Sunday, 68 had arrived from overseas. As much as 88.12 per cent of all cases in the State are from outside Kerala, while the rest are local transmissions.

The number of people coming from other states was 36 (Karnataka-10; Delhi-7; Maharashtra-7; Tamil Nadu-5; Telangana-2; Chhattisgarh-2; Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat-one each). On Sunday, the number of people getting infected through contact reached double digits, at 14.

Test numbers to increase

As on Sunday, a total of 1,75,734 people were under observation, of which 1,73,123 are under surveillance in their homes or institutional quarantine centres and 2,611 are in isolation in hospitals. The day also saw 335 people being hospitalised, with signs of infection.

The number of samples sent for testing during the 24 hours ending on Sunday noon were 5,406. The State government proposes to raise this number three times to 15,000 in July. A total of 2,20,821 samples have been sent for testing till date, and of these, the results of 4,041 are yet to be known.

As part of sentinel surveillance, 45,592 samples were collected from priority groups such as health workers, guest workers and those with a high level of public contact. At least 43,842 have tested negative. Tests per million till date are at 6,287; the mortality rate is at 0.55 per cent; and the recovery rate at 51.31 per cent. But these numbers continue to lag those in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka by a huge margin.

Published on June 29, 2020

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