Kerala on Tuesday reported 23,676 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the total infection count to 34.49 lakh. With 148 more deaths, the toll due to the infection in the state rose to 17,103. The state government said that the test positivity rate (TPR) is at 11.87 per cent now.
A day earlier, the state had reported 13,984 cases after recording more than 20,000 cases for six consecutive days. But the number of fresh cases rose sharply once again on Tuesday.
Some of the worst affected districts in the state are Malappuram with 4276 infections, Thrissur 2908, Ernakulam 2702, Kozhikode 2416, Palakkad 2223, Kollam 1836, Alappuzha 1261, Kottayam 1241, Kannur 1180 and Trivandrum 1133.
Earlier in the day, the Union Health Ministry said that out of the total cases reported in the country in the last week, 49.85 per cent were reported from Kerala. It also said that Kerala was one of the eight states where reproductive number, an indicator of how fast the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading, is more than 1.
An R-value above 1 means more than one person is being infected, on an average, by an already-infected person, and that leads to a surge in cases.
“There are 18 districts, including 10 districts of Kerala where an increasing trend in cases is seen,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, said during the briefing.
A central high-level multi-disciplinary team visiting Kerala had earlier concluded that the state’s Covid-19 surge has been triggered by inadequate monitoring of coronavirus-positive individuals in home isolation because of pandemic fatigue.
Kerala has been an outlier as Covid case numbers have stubbornly refused to come down in the state, even as almost the entire country has seen infections abate dramatically after the second wave of April-May.
Given this situation, the Centre on July 29 despatched a six-member team headed by Dr Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to Kerala, to take stock of the situation and recommend necessary public health interventions.
State-level serosurvey data released by the government had shown that only 44 per cent of Kerala’s population above the age of six years had so far been infected by the coronavirus, against the national average of over 67 per cent.
This, in effect, means that a much larger proportion of the population in the state is still susceptible to the disease compared to many other states. Also, the number could, at least partially, explain why Kerala is continuing to report a high number of cases.
(With PTI inputs)
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