Udayavni Special

Six test positive in Kerala, over 46,000 under surveillance


Team Udayavani, Apr 21, 2020, 7:29 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Six more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala on Monday, taking the total active cases to 114 while over 46,000 are under observation, even as the state government decided to test all those in quarantine in two to three days.

Kerala has so far reported 407 COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters here.

Twenty-one people, including 19 from Kasaragod, were cured on Monday, while two are from Alappuzha.

“The six new cases are from Kannur district and five of them have come from abroad.

One case was the primary contact of an infected person. A total of 46,323 people are under observation in the state and 398 are in isolation wards of various hospitals,” Vijayan said.

Till now 19,756 samples have been sent for testing in the state.

“We have sent 19,756 samples for testing.We will also test all those who are under quarantine in hospitals within next two or three days,” Vijayan added.

There was a phase when Kerala accounted for the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country but today we have the highest number of recovered cases, he said.

“Our recovery rate is the highest while mortality rate due to coronavirus is the lowest in the country at 0.58 per cent as compared to the world average of 5.75 per cent and 2.7 per cent in India.

For a State with high population density, Kerala has the maximum number of COVID-19 testing facilities,” he said.

The southern state reported the first coronavirus case in the country on January 30, when a student who had returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, tested positive.

This was followed by two more students, both Wuhan returnees.

The second wave of the infection hit the State on February 19 when a three-members of a family who had returned to Kerala from Italy tested positive.

The number of new cases started increasing gradually as people who were coming to Kerala from other countries started reporting positive and this peaked on March 30 when the state had the highest number of 32 new cases being reported on a single day,he said.

“There was a time when we thought the situation might go out of control.

At one point, which was on April 4, we had the highest number of people under surveillance in the state, a total of 1,71,355 persons and today, it has come down to 46,323.”

Kasaragod district has in particular shown much resilience in fighting the pandemic in the last two months as the district had the highest number of 169 confirmed cases within the State.
Now 142 have recovered and the rest 27 patients are on their way to recovery with no serious issues.

The way Kasargod fought back should be a role model for the country, Vijayan added.

There would be no relaxation in safety guidelines during the lockdown period and the exemptions announced so far are in concurrence with the Centre, the chief minister said.

He asked everyone to move towards more healthy and safe practices in lifestyle.

“The threat of coronaviurs won’t go off immediately, we should learn new habits for the prevention of the infection and this should start from our children.”

The government was aware of the mental trauma suffered by the nurses from Kerala in Delhi and has started a helpline at Kerala House in the national capital.

A helpline for the nurses has been opened at the Kerala House in Delhi and there will be at least 35 counsellors from 10 AM to 5 PM to attend them, Vijayan said.

The state government was awaiting permission from the Drugs Control to initiate the trial for plasma therapy, he said adding the Institute of Advanced Virolgy has received the membership in Global Virus Network, an international coalition of medical virologists.

Pointing that the expats in various counties, including the Gulf were facing lot of hardships due to the lockdown, Vijayan said there are at least 20 Lakh non- resident Keralites in the Gulf and efforts were taken to provide them all help.

“The state government is ready to take care of the expats if the Centre was ready to bring them back to Kerala and all necessary arrangements have been readied near the airports to quarantine those who will return from abroad,” Vijayan said.

He also said the state has 38 COVID-19 speciality hospitals, the most in the country.

Meanwhile, Vijayan refused to respond to the data collection allegation raised by opposition Congress party in the last few days and said he has other important works to attend to when the state was engaged in fighting the virus pandemic.

“No time to respond to the controversies.I am not worried about the allegations, why should you all be? I have more important works to do during this pandemic season,” Vijayan said, refusing to respond to questions from the media on the data collection row.

The Congress has been raising allegations that a US company had been entrusted with the task of collecting the data of virus infected patients and that it was a violation of their fundamental rights.

The ward-level committees, set up by the government for the anti-coronavirus fight, was collecting information of those in home isolation, elderly persons and those at the risk of the disease using a questionnaire in this regard and upload it in a server of a private agency, according to the opposition.

Thecongress has alleged that the data, collected through the government machinery, was being uploaded not in the government server but in that of a foreign company.

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