Data | Kerala flattens the coronavirus curve but must remain vigilant as 'import' cases still dominate

Workers spray disinfectant at Kozhikode bus stand.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Kerala had the most number of COVID-19 cases 20 days back but reported only one new positive case on Wednesday. With high testing and low fatality rates, Kerala’s numbers show promise but some concerns remain. Recent cases are still “imported” from outside India, even though international travel halted on March 22.

Signs of recovery

The graph shows the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases since the 100th case in States. Kerala’s curve not only flattened, but also started to dip after the 10th day.

How cases progressed in States

image/svg+xml 246810121416182022 1 2 5 10 20 50 100 200 Average cases Days since the 100th case Maharashtra Delhi Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh Telangana A.P. Kerala Karnataka Haryana

(If the graph doesn't appear in full, click here)

None of the other States are mimicking Kerala’s curve. While Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are showing signs of a dip, it is still early days.

Testing rates matter

The graph plots latest fatality rate against tests conducted per million people. The larger the circle, more the number of cases.

Testing rates and fatality rates

image/svg+xml 0100200300400500600700800 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 180.9 3.40 Tests per million population Fatality rate (Deaths/cases) Delhi Kerala Rajasthan Maharashtra These seven States in the bottom right (highlighted) have above average testing rate and below average fatality rate. Kerala is one of them Gujarat M.P. T.N.

Not only have the number of new cases reduced significantly in Kerala, the fatality rate is among the lowest even as the State’s testing rate is among the highest.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown guidelines | Industries operating in rural areas to reopen on April 20

Recovery time

The table lists days taken by the first 47 patients* to recover after hospitalisation. Close to 85% of patients recovered within 15 days of hospitalisation.

How long were hospital stays?

image/svg+xml Days spent in hospital % of discharges 5 to 10 45% 10 to 15 40% 15 to 20 4% 20 to 25 11%

*This does not include the first three Wuhan returnees as the data for them is not accurate.

A new concern

The table lists the patient’s date of arrival in India, date of confirmation as COVID-19 positive for select “imported” cases in Kerala, and the days in between. In some patients’ cases, it took 26 days to be identified. Lately, the no. of such delayed confirmations have increased.

Returnees from abroad testing positive

image/svg+xml Arrival Confirmed Days Mar 22 Apr 8 17 Mar 21 Apr 7 17 Mar 21 Apr 7 17 Mar 21 Apr 8 18 Mar 22 Apr 12 21 Mar 19 Apr 9 21 Mar 22 Apr 13 22 Mar 21 Apr 14 24 Mar 21 Apr 14 24 Mar 21 Apr 14 24 Mar 18 Apr 11 24 Mar 17 Apr 11 25 Mar 19 Apr 14 26 Mar 17 Apr 12 26

Last word

While Kerala has recorded a low number of new cases, many of them are “imported” cases. Considering international flights were stopped on March 22 and quarantines were enforced, these delayed confirmations are a cause for concern. Countries like Japan and SIngapore which successfully flattened the curve initially are also seeing a second wave of infections.

Source: Kerala and Central health ministries, The Hindu news reports

Also read: Coronavirus | 170 districts identified as hotspots, says Health Ministry

A graphic has been corrected for a typographical error.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 3:58:47 AM |

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