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Covid TPR in Kerala surges to 37%, Health Minister Veena George says next 3 weeks critical

🔴 Kerala reported 34,199 new cases on Wednesday when 91,983 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. The active caseload rose to 1.68 lakhs.

By: Express News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: January 20, 2022 8:08:25 am
The state reported 34,199 new cases on Wednesday when 91,983 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. The active caseload rose to 1.68 lakhs. (File)

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to surge through Kerala, with the test positivity rate reaching 37.17 per cent on Wednesday.

The state reported 34,199 new cases, with 91,983 samples tested in the last 24 hours. The active caseload rose to 1.68 lakh. A few districts have TPR above the state average of 37.17 per cent.

In the worst affected Thiruvananthapuram, where 5,684 cases were reported on Wednesday, the TPR is 45.8 per cent, indicating that around half of the samples tested are being found positive.

In Ernakulam district, with 5,953 cases reported on Wednesday, the TPR has risen to 44.59 per cent. In Kozhikode and Kottayam districts, the TPR is 40.53 per cent and 39.05 per cent, respectively.

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Health department data showed that the growth rate in newly declared cases increased by 211 per cent during the last week starting January 12. As many as 49 new Covid-19 deaths were reported in the 24 hours in the state even as another 85 from the backlog have been added to the list of deaths.

Health minister Veena George said the state is witnessing extreme spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. “In sharp contrast to the first and second waves, in which the state had delayed the peak of the pandemic, cases are spiking alarmingly in the initial stage of the third wave itself. Next three weeks would be critical for Kerala,” she said.

The minister said the Omicron variant is highly infectious and the number of patients in ICUs and ventilators can go up any time. Omicron is six times more transmissible than Delta, she said.

The number of active patients, number of those admitted in hospitals, field hospitals, ICU, ventilator and in oxygen supported beds has increased by 192 per cent, 60 per cent,113 per cent, 38 per cent, 9 per cent and 52 per cent respectively, during January 12-18 compared to the previous week. However, out of a total 1,68,383 cases of infection, only 3.2 per cent of the active cases are admitted either in hospital/field hospitals. This percentage is constant and that indicates that the progression toward disease of the person who is infected is not very alarming, according to official data.

Kerala has already decided to close down schools from January 21 and a decision on more restrictions including closure of colleges would be taken in a review meeting slated for Thursday.

The worst-hit district is Thiruvananthapuram, where TPR is at 47 percent. Many clusters have developed in the district, where CPI(M) conducted its district conference and public meeting, flouting protocol and norms imposed by the government. Many delegates, including ministers and senior CPI(M) leaders, have been tested positive in the last few days. Functioning of offices of ministers has been restricted after several staff members have fallen ill.

Opposition said CPI(M) leaders in Kerala have become merchants of death. “CPI(M) is responsible for the worst spread of infection in the state capital. The party has violated all norms. They are the merchants of death,’’ said Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan.


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