The Central Health team has been sent to Kerala to monitor the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases observed in the state.
The team has suggested the State Government accelerate its vaccination drive for maximum immunisation rates and enhance contact tracing, testing for infection and ensure containment measures are in place to control the sudden spike in the state.
The team reiterated the need for robust health infrastructure with ample availability of ICU beds and ventilators and a constant oxygen supply.
The multi-disciplinary team, sent by the Centre to Kerala on July 30, 2021, also expressed the need to complete the Sero survey as soon as possible.
The team has extended its expertise and advised the state authorities to perform its own Sero survey for in-depth analysis of the Sero positivity level from the state’s total population.
The high-level multi-disciplinary team visited six districts of Kerala, which have faced the brunt of the pandemic the most and thus, have reported a significant number of cases.
According to a draft report published by the team, “Kerala’s 14 districts are presently reporting more than 20,000 cases per day and according to May’ 2021 data, over 80 per cent of circulating strains are of the Delta variant.”
The six-member team headed by Dr Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has concluded that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases that the state witnessed was instigated by “inadequate monitoring of coronavirus-positive individuals”, especially those in home isolation due to the phenomenon of ‘pandemic fatigue‘.
The central team also found out that in Kerala, which has an urban village demography, unless, under strict scrutiny, lockdowns are bound to have limited effect in bringing the number of cases down.
On Tuesday, the state reported 23,676 new COVID-19 cases, despite strict restrictions and a complete lockdown on the weekends with only five days of normal working.
These cases have amounted to a total infection count of 34.49 lakh. Along with this, 148 deaths were reported, bringing the death toll from infection in the state to 17,103.
Moreover, the Kerala government said that the test positivity rate (TPR) is now at 11.87 per cent.