Covid-19: TPR dips slightly to 13.97 per cent in Kerala; launches 3-day vax drive

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 14, 2021

Targets first dose for all in the 60+ age group by I-Day

Test positivity rate (TPR) in Kerala dipped slightly to just below 14 per cent (13.97 per cent) on Saturday, Independence Day eve, in an ongoing fluctuating trend but within the elevated 10–15 per cent range with 19,451 new Covid-19 cases emerging across the state on a base of 1,39,223 samples tested.

The day also counted in 105 deaths occurring over the past several days and attributed to the pandemic, the State Health Department said. This has taken the cumulative toll to just one short of the 18,500-mark (18,499) on Friday, even as 19,104 patients tested negative.

High WIPR wards, admissions steady

Malappuram topped the list of the district with maximum new cases but fewer than 3,000 (2,953) on Saturday, followed by Thrissur (2,459); Kozhikode (2,404); and Ernakulam (2,200). The number of patients admitted to the hospital remained more or less unchanged at 28,297, the department said.

The number of panchayats/wards with a Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR) above the threshold of eight per cent too remained unchanged at 634 for a third day on Saturday. These wards are subject to a triple lockdown and micro-containment as part of the state's revised Covid-19 strategy.

New vaccination drive

Meanwhile, the State government launched a three-day intensive vaccination drive to administer the first dose of vaccine to the entire population in the 60+ age group. It is part of a new inoculation strategy that plans to vaccinate all non-Covid individuals in a containment zone.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said in a high-level Covid review meeting late on Friday evening that vaccines will be administered to those in the containment zone who have not contracted Covid. Everyone in these zones will be tested, and those who test negative will be vaccinated on priority.

The Chief Minister directed District Collectors that vaccine doses allotted to each must be exhausted on time. The high-level Covid review meeting also decided that ten districts should be given 40,000 vaccinations a day and the other four, 25,000 vaccinations, an official spokesman said.

Vaccine supplies resume

The vaccination drive will be spread out on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The State government is also being driven to it by dire predictions by a visiting Central multi-disciplinary team of a feared spurt in new infections of up to 4.6 lakh by August 20 in the run-up to the Onam festival.

The state had run into a severe vaccine shortage during late July but has bolstered its position due to expeditious supplies into July. The arrivals jumped notably from August 10 (5.11 lakh-2.91 lakh Covishield and 2.20 Covaxin); August 11 (8.87 lakh-8 lakh Covishield and 86,960 Covaxin); and August 13 (5.35 lakh-4.02 lakh Covishield and 3.02 lakh Covaxin), statistics revealed.

No Covid duty for teachers

The high-level meeting directed the district administrations that public events can be permitted only after securing clearances. It also decided that teachers shall be exempted from the expedited Covid duty as they have to start online classes, examinations and Plus-One admissions.

Onam celebrations at government offices must be limited to laying out floral arrangements. The Health Department was told to organise awareness programmes to control the spread of Covid spread in homes.

Published on August 14, 2021

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