Kerala’s worst Covid-19 fears seem to be coming true, with the number of new cases crossing the 2,000-threshold on Wednesday for the first time. The state reported a total 2,333 cases in a day. Only last week, health minister KK Shailaja had warned the daily caseload could go up by between 10,000 and 20,000 by September. The projection was based on studies. And going by the rise in recent days, the number seems to be a near certainty.
The greatest worry is the fact 95% of the new cases are due to spread through contacts. In the remaining cases, the origin is unknown. There is a consistent increase in deaths, with 7 patients succumbing to the viorus on Wednesday.
The state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, continues to bear the brunt, with over 500 cases reported in the day. With these, the district has 4,500 patients in hospitals. Over 17,000 people are undergoing treatment in various districts. The total corona tally in the state has gone past the half-lakh mark. Over 1.6 lakh people are under observation across the state. If the daily caseload increases by the current rate, the pressure on hospitals would surpass the manageable levels and soon patients will have to be treated at home, as is the case with some worst-hit states.
The sudden spurt has coincided with a progressive withdrawal of restrictions and people are coming out onto the streets for the flimsiest of reasons as they find the new freedom as licence for resumption of new normal life.
For instance, in Thiruvananthapuram, where a month-long lockdown has just been lifted, people have thrown caution to the wind and social distancing and other safeguards have gone for a toss.
Temples and other places of worship, which remained closed to devotees for several months, have been allowed to reopen, subject to Covid protocols. The health authorities have increased the number of tests. In the last 24 hours, over 36,000 samples were tested in the form of routine sampling, airport surveillance, pooled sentinel survey etc. Sentinel survey covers health workers and other vulnerable sections, including guest workers.