The Kerala government on Monday decided to consign Covid-19 patients with minor symptoms to home care, even as active cases continued to rise in the state. Kerala had so far allowed home isolation, under the health department’s guidance, for only asymptomatic patients.
On Monday, the state reported 4,538 cases, taking the active cases to 57,882. Monday’s figure was less than Sunday’s 7,445, as the number of samples tested came down from 54,493 to 36,027.
The state, which once claimed to have contained the virus when 500-odd cases were reported in a three-month period, now occupies the fourth slot among Indian states and UTs with the biggest load of active cases. Only Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have a larger number of active cases than Kerala, which has 1.8 lakh confirmed cases.
After a review meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that the spread of the virus has assumed serious proportions in the state. “A serious situation is lurking ahead. Stringent steps will be taken against those who fail to comply with social distancing norms. State government offices with gazetted rank would be deployed in municipal and rural areas with more powers to ensure implementation of containment measures,” he said.
The CM said that home care would be recommended for asymptomatic patients as well as patients with minor symptoms. “Guidelines towards that effect have been prepared as per WHO norms. Home care would be for asymptomatic patients, those with minor symptoms and patients whose symptoms have subsided,” he said.
Vijayan also said that the annual Sabarimala festival, slated to begin on November 15, would be conducted with restrictions on the number of pilgrims. A committee will examine all matters, including the number of pilgrims per day from each state.
“Arrangements will be made for pilgrims who register through the virtual queue system. Those above the age of 65 and below 10 will not be allowed. Pilgrims should come with Covid negative certificate. To ensure that Covid patients do not reach for pilgrimage, antigen tests will be conducted at various centres with the help of the health department. As public bathing in the river cannot be allowed, sprinkler or shower systems will be installed at Pampa and Erumeli base stations,” he said.
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