Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala health minister KK Shylaja has warned of unprecedented increase in the spread of coronavirus in the state by September and called for extreme caution.
She cited reports of experts to say that the daily case load could go up to between 10,000 and 20,000, which would be accompanied by a steep increase in the number of Covid deaths. The state currently has one of the lowest death rates.
The minister said the situation is alarming and that the state government plans to form health brigades to help in containing the spread of the disease. The state has over 13,000 Covid patients undergoing treatment currently.
Though the state’s daily case load has been very low, compared to other states, it has been consistently increasing during the past few days. In fact, the state recorded the highest spike so far on Thursday, when the total number of cases for the day crossed 1,500.
In Thiruvananthapuram district alone, the number of new cases touched 434. Out of this, as many as 428 cases were due to infection from contacts. This is the case with most districts, indicating that the community spread is becoming stronger by the day. Community spread has been confirmed in the coastal areas of the district.
Meanwhile, the expert committee set up by the state government has flagged discrepancies in the number of Covid deaths put out by the government, strengthening the complaints that the number is being sought to be doctored so as to show a lower casualty figure.
The committee questioned the system of accounting for Covid deaths, as deaths in the case of patients with other ailments are not included in the Covid category. This is in violation of the World Health Organization norm of classifying the deaths under Covid category if the first or second reason for death is Covid, irrespective of other health issues.
The committee has warned that Covid cases in the state would peak by September and the number of patients could go up to 75,000. Dr B Iqbal, who heads the panel, said in an interview that by October the spread could reach a plateau.