Kerala

Malappuram figures do not surprise admin

47 test positive in district on Saturday

The spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Malappuram district has surprised neither the district administration nor health officials.

“It is quite natural. There is nothing odd or exceptional about it,” said District Medical Officer K. Sakeena. As many as 47 persons freshly tested positive in the district on Saturday, raising the number of infected cases currently under treatment to 246, just behind neighbouring Palakkad’s 260 cases. The health authorities pointed out that the test results were along expected lines. Out of the 47 new positive cases in Malappuram, as many as 37 were imported from other places. Most of them had returned from Gulf countries and a few from other States.

Out of the 10 persons who got infected through local contacts, five were the results of sentinel surveillance.

“The results of sentinel surveillance were almost along expected lines because we did it at a place where the chances of a local virus spread was very high,” said a senior medical officer.

The sentinel surveillance was held at Edappal and Vattamkulam where a vagabond tested positive. His movements could not be completely traced, and there were fears among officials about a potential community spread.

The health officials could detect five positive cases from the area in the sentinel surveillance. “It is a call for extra care and precaution. There are chances for a community spread in the area,” he said.

A more rigid lockdown is expected to be imposed in Edappal and Vattamkulam area in view of a community spread. The area was already contained, and will soon be declared a red zone.

However, the health officials said there was nothing to panic in Malappuram. The surge, according to them, was in tune with the number of people returning from other States and abroad. Malappuram has the largest population in the State, and contributes the largest number of expatriates in the Gulf as well.

Out of the 380-odd positive cases reported in the district right from the start of pandemic in the State, as many as 51 were through primary and secondary contacts. “It is only 12%. The State’s average infection through local contacts stands around 10%. And 2% difference does not call for an alarm,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:33:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/malappuram-figures-high-yet-expected-say-officials/article31934862.ece

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