Kerala

Centre wants stricter containment in State

The Union Health Ministry has yet again written to the State, pointing out the high number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths being reported by Kerala daily.

In the light of the emergence of the new SARS CoV 2 variant, the presence of which has already been confirmed in the country, it was important that Kerala takes immediate steps to check disease transmission in the population and reduce fatalities, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said in a letter to State’s Principal Secretary (Health) Rajan N. Khobragade.

Kerala has reported 1,71,521 cases in a space of 30 days, ending on December 3, which accounts for 55.87% of the total new cases reported in the country. The letter points out that 13 out of the 14 districts have been reporting a high quantum of cases weekly and of particular concern is Thiruvananthapuram (5,541), Ernakulam, (4,976), Kozhikode (3,676), Thrissur (2,903) and Kottayam (2,478).

Four districts have been showing a high weekly positivity of more than 10%, those being Thiruvananthapuram (11.61%), Wayanad (11.25%), Kozhikode (11%) and Kottayam (10.81%). Nine districts have a weekly test positivity rate between 5% to 10%.

The letter draws attention to the slight increase in weekly new deaths from 1,890 deaths (week ending November 26) to 2,118 deaths (week ending December 3) and points out that four districts - Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kollam - have been reporting a higher number of weekly new deaths.

In this situation, Kerala needed to ensure better compliance with the test- track- treat- vaccinate policy so that the situation of increased spread of infection was brought under control, the letter says.

All States have been asked to enhance surveillance at airports to monitor international travellers as well as surveillance at any emerging hotspots of infection in the population. States have been asked to increase testing and to ensure that all COVID-positive samples be sent to INSACOG laboratory network.

Senior Health officials maintain that the State continues to remain at a relatively high plateau when it came to new cases. This picture of a prolonged plateau was unique to the State, where disease transmission was being sustained at a low level in the community rather than as huge waves as had been seen in rest of the country.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 4:56:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/centre-wants-stricter-containment-in-state/article37842884.ece

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