State registers first COVID-19 death

Six more new positive cases reported

Kerala reported its first COVID-19 death on Saturday.

A 69-year-old man who had been under treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam, died in the morning. He was buried in Ernakulam as per protocol. The man who returned from Dubai on March 16 was admitted to the hospital on March 22 with acute pneumonia.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the State would continue the surveillance and quarantine process and at the same time, seriously investigate if community transmission was happening. The government decided to go ahead with rapid test modality for COVID-19 detection (IgM/IgG antibody-based tests) in the community to understand if the silent transmission of the virus is happening.

Mr. Vijayan paid his respects to the first victim, whose severe and uncontrolled co-morbidities had complicated the treatment.

On Saturday, six positive cases were reported in the State. Two of the cases are from Thiruvananthapuram, while Kollam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kasaragod reported one case each. The total number of patients under treatment is 165. While 1.34 lakh people are under surveillance, only 620 are in isolation wards in hospitals and the rest are on home quarantine.

Mr. Vijayan said the government was in the process of linking research organisations, industrial units, manufacturing firms of biomedical supplies and creating an industrial enterprises cluster to mass manufacture respirators, ventilators, personal protection equipment, oxygen cylinders and biomedical supplies on a war footing.

He announced the launch of ‘Break Corona’ scheme, wherein the government was inviting innovative ideas from society to combat COVID-19 and to augment the State’s response to the lethal pathogen. A website, has been set up with the help of the Startup Mission, through which people can submit their ideas.

The government was considering the setting up of an online counselling facility for helping those under quarantine, most of whom are undergoing severe stress.

Mr. Vijayan said the drop in the number of positive cases should in no way reduce the vigil against the virus.

He said with postal and courier services at a standstill, the special permission won by Air Asia to transport drugs and essential supplies was a huge relief. He said the government was in talks with insurance companies as non-renewal could lead to the lapse of health insurance policies.

The State government had raised with Karnataka government the issue of hardships faced by chronic disease and dialysis patients in Kasaragod, who were dependent on Mangalore for medical treatment, after the closure of the inter-State borders. However, a decision was still awaited, Chief Minister said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 7:17:35 AM |

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