Spike in Cases Despite Kerala Being Model State in Handling COVID

4 min read
Hindi Female

While the country and the states with maximum number of coronavirus cases have been reporting a slight decline, Kerala has been reporting a spike in the number of cases. The state has been considered a model for its effective containment measures.

On Thursday, Kerala reported 6,324 new cases, which is the highest number of cases recorded in a day in the state so far. A day earlier, it had reported 5,376 cases, crossing the 5,000-mark for the first time.

The state now has more than 1.54 lakh confirmed cases, of which nearly nearly 46,000 are active cases.

Active Cases in Kerala as on 24 September

The state now has more than 1.54 lakh confirmed cases, of which nearly nearly 46,000 are active cases.
(Photo Courtesy: Kerala Health Department)

Growth Rate of COVID > Daily Recoveries

With a daily growth rate of 3.38 per cent, the number of coronavirus cases have been increasing in Kerala, faster than almost every other state. The national growth rate is just 1.63 per cent per day, which means Kerala is growing at more than twice the national rate.

Distribution of COVID-19 cases in Kerala from March to September:

While new recoveries have exceeded new cases for the last six days at the national level, Kerala has been witnessing more new cases than recoveries for the last several weeks consistently. On Thursday, the state reported only 3,168 recoveries, which is half the day’s positive cases

While nationally, the recovery rate is 81.55 per cent, the figure for Kerala has gone down to 69.83 per cent.

Patients being treated in hospitals are 45,919, of which, 371 patients are critically ill and in ICUs, 96 of them are on ventilator support.


As on 24 September, the state capital Thiruvananthapuram has the highest number of cases with 29,357 cases, followed by Malappuram (17596), Kozhikode (13792), Ernakulam (13472), Alleppey (11368).

Districts with maximum number of coronavirus cases in Kerala:

District wise data showing number of persons quarantined so far.
(Photo Courtesy: Kerala Health Department)

Positivity Rate Higher Than National Average

So far, 26,00,359 persons have been tested, of which 1,48,131 have tested positive for coronavirus.

The test positivity rate in the state has gone up to 11.50 per cent, meaning, for every 100 people tested in the last week, at least 10 have tested positive.

Many experts believe the state is not testing enough, leading to cases going undetected. As on 25 September, Tamil Nadu has tested 68,08,675 persons so far and 62,80,788 samples in Maharashtra.

However, the health infrastructure is still not under stress, as there have been very few complaints of no access to medical facilities or treatment. The state government has set aside several quarantine centres for those returning from other countries and those who don't have facilities to quarantine themselves.


What is Causing the Surge?

On Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called attention to the situation stating, “There is a steep hike in the number of positive cases in many districts. We are moving to a serious situation.’’

The chief minister has blamed the opposition for holding protests without adhering to the COVID-19 protocol. “The infection is spreading due to that too. The battle against COVID-19 should not be seen as the victory of some people or the failure of others,’’ he said.

However, now with almost all restrictions lifted, experts believe people's callousness has contributed to a rampant community spread. A senior official in the health department pointed out that with offices and public transport open, many of the COVID norms are being flouted.


Is Kerala Ready to Handle the Influx of Cases?

Dr Amar Fettle, state nodal officer for COVID-19 told FIT that even before preparations were made to bring back Keralites from foreign countries, the state made sure to be ready to tackle any influx of cases.

The state's 'Break the Chain' campaign has been quite successful where cartoon or mythological characters are used to convey important social messages like washing hands using soap or sanitiser regularly, wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

"We preempted the crunch for resources and amped up the space in hospitals, ventilators, beds, capacity of care. For manpower we have started a COVID Brigade. This is a group for people to volunteer as doctors, lab technicians and for other healthcare duties. They are paid as per the norms and once selected the district officials allot them duties. Over 15,000-20,000 persons have already been recruited for COVID duty in just the last few weeks," he said. The medical staff are then trained online, given hands on training and made to work with an experienced doctor, before handling duty individually.

The Samoohya Sannadha Sena – Community Volunteer Force – of the Kerala government was formed in light of the back to back disasters the state has faced. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March, thousands of youngsters have registered. These volunteers help in delivering medicines, arranging food, distribution of resources, work in community kitchens and so on.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from fit

Topics:  Kerala   Coronavirus Kerala   covid19 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More