Kerala recorded its highest number of covid infections on Friday, when 42 people were hospitalised with serious symptoms. Out of 42 people, 21 have come from Maharashtra and 17 from abroad.
The previous highest was 39 new cases, recorded on March 27, after which the state had shown consistent drop in the number, with no new cases being reported for several days together, until the influx of people from outside completely reversed the situation.
The state also added another death to the tally of three, with a 72-year old woman coming from Mumbai, losing her battle with COVID-19 in the hospital. She had other health complications, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
With the preventive mechanism being rendered ineffective, the state is now increasing its attention for the care and cure of those arriving from outside with the virus. As many as 162 people were hospitalised on Friday as more trains and planes brought in stranded people from various places.
It has been found that a large number of people being brought are in a critical condition and require immediate attention.
The number of evacuees is nearing a lakh, a majority of them coming from other states, particularly Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. The spike is being viewed as the signal for a tougher struggle ahead for the state’s health authorities, whose efforts have come in for wholesome praise not only in India, but different parts of the world.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the authorities are now preparing to handle more covid patients in the hospitals, which have been equipped with additional ventilators and other life-saving equipment.
The state is thus faced with the difficult task of balancing the safety of people within the state and the need to take care of the evacuees. One cannot be compromised for the sake of success in the other. As such, there will be no let-up in the quarantine of people coming from outside. Passengers of domestic flights will also have to undergo quarantine for 14 days.
The chief minister said there was no question of the state turning its back on people stuck outside, who he said were always welcome in the state. There is no bias against them, although people have tended to show a certain degree of intolerance towards these people as they are perceived to carry a serious health risk to the rest of the population.
The chief minister also decried the tendency by some people to treat the relaxation in controls as an opportunity to celebrate. The easing of controls has been done to help people to pursue their livelihood and not for entertainment.
With the resumption of public transport, people are getting out on the roads in large numbers, leading to public spaces becoming crowded. People have also been seen coming out with aged and the children, who are supposed to be safeguarded at home with reverse quarantine.