Coronavirus | Kerala's COVID-19 case burden crosses 7 lakh mark

6,293 test positive in a new surge post local body polls

Updated - December 20, 2020 08:33 am IST

Published - December 20, 2020 08:25 am IST - Thiruvananathapuram

New wave:  People waiting to vote in the local body elections in Palakkad on December 10.

New wave: People waiting to vote in the local body elections in Palakkad on December 10.

COVID-19 case graph is beginning to rise again in the State, post-local body polls, as had been anticipated by all public health experts and epidemiologists.

On Saturday, the cumulative case burden of the State crossed the seven lakh mark to reach 7,00,158 cases.

 

The new cases daily, which had been contained between 4,000-5,000 cases fort the past few days, went up to 6,293 cases on Saturday, when 59,995 samples were tested in the past 24 hours. The test positivity rate also climbed to 10.49% indicating that disease transmission could be intensifying.

The number of recoveries reported on the day was 4,749.

The active case pool in the State which had been steadily and slowly declining, climbed back to 60,396 cases, while the total recoveries in the State touched 6,36,814.

Health Minister, K. K. Shylaja, said that the next two weeks would be crucial for Kerala, as the State’s COVID-19 disease curve, which had been on a plateau since the last week of October, was expected to rise again. The State could be entering a new phase of the epidemic, she added

She said that while this rise or surge in cases was anticipated immediately after the local body polls, how far the graph would rise was something that remained to be seen. Despite the government directives regarding the maintenance of strict COVID protocols during the local body election campaigning, especially the warnings on maintaining physical distancing and avoiding large congregations, people seemed to have taken things easy.

The impact of the relaxations during the poll campaigning is slowly beginning to surface as cases have already begun to rise in many districts, Ms. Shylaja said.

She appealed to the public to be on guard and to avoid congregations and other crowded public places as far as possible and to maintain all safety precautions. The swearing-in of the new local body governments will have to be a quiet affair and maintaining all COVID protocols strictly, she said.

On Saturday, the State’s cumulative COVID toll rose to 2,786, with the addition of 29 more deaths to the official list of COVID deaths. Alappuzha and Palakkad accounted for six deaths each, Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur four each, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode two each, while one death each was reported by Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad.

Official figures put the number of critically ill COVID patients in various ICUs in the State at 820, with 233 requiring ventilator support.

Of the 6,293 new cases reported in Saturday, 6,220 are locally acquired infections with the source of infection remaining untraced in 593 cases. The number of health-care workers who contracted COVID is 49. In 73 cases, the authorities reported a history of travel outside the State.

Among districts, the northern districts continue to have the highest number of cases, with Kozhikode reporting 777 cases, Malappuram 657, Thrissur 656, Kottayam 578, Alappuzha 465, Kollam 409, Palakkad 390, Pathanamthitta 375, Thiruvananthapuram 363, Kannur 268, Wayanad 239, Idukki 171, and Kasaragod 119 cases.

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