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No respite in Covid deaths in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 21, 2021

Unvaccinated and comorbid elders at grave risk: Study

Kerala’s Covid test positivity rate (TPR) and daily new cases continue to show signs of stabilising, although at an elevated platform, but deaths have defied all calculations, springing back to beyond the 200-mark on Tuesday to 214 and taking the cumulative toll so far during the pandemic to 23,897.

New cases

Daily new cases logged in at 15,768 on a sample base of 1,05,513 on Tuesday, while the number of inpatients in hospitals dipped further to 23,909. The size of active case pool, too, has been trimmed to 1,61,195, of which, only 13.7 per cent is under observation in hospitals. Meanwhile, comorbidities of hypertension and diabetes can be fatal if you are not vaccinated against Covid, according to a study by the State Directorate of Health, which brings into sharp focus an estimated one million of elders who have chosen not be vaccinated for varying reasons.

The study found that as much as 90 per cent of the people who died of Covid was unvaccinated, of which, 26 per cent had either hypertension or diabetes. Of the 9,195 deaths recorded between June 18 and September 3, at least 8,290 had not been vaccinated.

Of the deceased, 700 had received only the first dose while 200 had been given both vaccine shots.

At least 67.43 per cent of the deceased had comorbidities. However, among the unvaccinated, 32.57 per cent had no other serious ailments or comorbidities, the study found.Dr TS Anish, Member, State Covid Task Force, told BusinessLine that several campaigns are being taken out to address vaccine hesitancy among the elders.

Some are worried about their own comorbidities, while others have a fear of the unknown, he said. Their issues need to be addressed here and now.

They need to be told that it is the comorbid elders who should take the vaccine since it saves their lives. Some are not able to go to vaccination centres since aides are not willing to take them. Then there is a concerted campaign against by interested parties based on misplaced, even faith-based arguments.

Opening of theatres

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw Culture Minister Saji Cherian expressing the hope that cinema theatres could open soon in the State just as other sectors of the economy have. Progress in vaccination might help open up theatres as well as auditoriums. But experts have disagreed saying these closed spaces come last in the priority list since the virus is known to transmit exponentially in this environment.

Published on September 21, 2021

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