Covid-19: ‘Model state’ Kerala now in top 3 states in new cases per week

KOCHI: Kerala now figures among the country’s top three states in new Covid-19 cases per million population, per week — registering 158 cases in the week from September 19-26. There were 111 new cases per million population in the previous week. This indicates that the pandemic is spreading very fast and the state is close…

Covid-19: ‘Model state’ Kerala now in top 3 states in new cases per week

KOCHI: Kerala now figures among the country’s top three states in new Covid-19 cases per million population, per week — registering 158 cases in the week from September 19-26. There were 111 new cases per million population in the previous week. This indicates that the pandemic is spreading very fast and the state is close behind Maharashtra at 169 new cases per million, per week and Delhi at 212.

The real extent of the Covid spread in the state can be understood from the number of cases reported per million population on a peak day. Kerala is now reporting 32 new cases per million on a peak day, just behind Delhi at 38 cases per million. In contrast, neighbouring states Tamil Nadu (14 cases per million, per day) and Karnataka (23 cases per million, per day) are reporting less cases on a peak day despite a bigger population.

Health experts said the biggest worry now was that there would be around 3,000-4,000 asymptomatic infected persons in the community spreading the infection unknowingly, even to those in reverse quarantine.

‘Govt must give info on beds & ventilators’

The situation is alarming. Rampant testing is needed to identify as many infected persons as possible and isolate them. Also, another worrying trend seen now is that more cases are found among those in reverse quarantine and if this continues, we will lose the only advantage we have so far, of low death rate,” said Dr Gopikumar P, secretary, IMA, Kerala chapter.

Kerala’s case fatality rate is 0.4% despite the surge in cases while its average growth rate is 4% now. The state needs to prepare for two different tasks urgently—effective containment management and clinical management. “The government urgently needs to give daily details to the public about the availability of beds, ICUs and ventilators in each hospital to ensure that patients are not forced to run from one hospital to another due to unavailability of beds,” said Dr Shenoy Padmanabha who has been analysing the Covid pattern across the country.

“To save lives, you need experts with experience of dealing with critical respiratory problems. This talent is scarce in the country, so is in Kerala. The state needs to explore to optimise the available experts in each of the severely affected districts, said Mysore Sanjeev, convenor, Project Jeevan Raksha, an initiative of management consulting firm Proxima with technical support from Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and IMA.

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