Subdued Onam over, Kerala treads warily into September

Our Breau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 03, 2020 Published on September 03, 2020

State expects spike in daily Covid cases

With a subdued Onam over, Kerala is treading warily into September, during which the raging Covid-19 virus could potentially break into a critical phase of intensive transmission and daily new cases escalate exponentially to 10,000 to 20,000 from the current levels of 1,500 to 2,000, according to the State government.

Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan has defended the State government’s strategy so far to contain the pandemic, saying that what ultimately matters is the ‘case fatality rate’ (number of deaths for every 100 cases). At 0.4 per cent, it continues to be well below the national average (2.67 per cent), and is much better than the world average of 4.38 per cent.

Recoveries catching up

The death toll in Kerala is 306, out of the total confirmed cases of 78,073 as on Thursday morning. The number of active cases are 21,924 and recoveries are 55,778 (71.4 per cent). Recoveries have broken away from the active cases by a big distance, and are now catching up with total number of confirmed cases, which is a good augury.

The tests per million stand at a much improved 49,100, while the number of tests carried out so far has crossed 17 lakh. It would be instructive to mention the performance of the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, though each varies from the other in terms of geographical area and size of population.

Death toll is 7,516 in Tamil Nadu; 253 in Puducherry; 5,950 in Karnataka; 4,125 in Andhra Pradesh; and 856 in Telangana. But some of these States leave Kerala far behind in terms of the number of tests carried out/tests per million. The figures for Tamil Nadu are 42.9 lakh/65,580: Puducherry 78,700/52,350; Karnataka 30.5 lakh/46,397; Andhra Pradesh 38.4 lakh/73,601; and Telangana, 15.4 lakh tests/41,455 tests per million.

Deaths per million

According to the Kerala Chief Minister, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have much higher rate of deaths per million. The number of deaths per million in Kerala is 0.9 against the national figure of 17, said Pinarayi Vijayan, adding that the State was performing well in the four indicators of mortality rate, disease spread, testing and recovery.

“These figures are a testimony to the fact that we have been able to prevent Covid-19 deaths efficiently. I cite these figures merely to expose the false propaganda about our Covid-19 defences,” he said. The Chief Minister also said that Kerala has a test positivity rate (positive cases per 100 tests) of 2.27, which is comparable to world figures.

Test positivity rate

The average test positivity rate in India is 7.46, and it is much higher in the neighbouring Sates. Similarly, the test per million versus case per million is an indicator of how many tests are being done in proportion to a positive case. It is advisable to keep it above 50. In Kerala, the test per million versus case per million is now 44. In case of a higher number of positive cases, the number of tests will be increased. The number is being increased to 50 immediately, he added.

“Our figure is way better than other States and the national figure of 13.Our State is at the forefront of preventing outbreaks, controlling mortality and conducting adequate number of tests, which has attracted worldwide recognition. The State government, as well as the health workers, are working together to live up to it,” he added.

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Published on September 03, 2020
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