Kerala on Thursday reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third day in a row. The southern state has been reporting more than half of the country's total COVID-19 cases for the past few days, kicking up a heated exchange between the Centre and state's ruling CPI(M). Union Ministers including Rajeev Chandrasekhar and V Muraleedharan have slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan govt for its "unscientific" relaxations during Eid and "using the pandemic for political gains".
Meanwhile, state Health Minister Veena George has hit back at the Centre and said that there is a planned campaign against Kerala. "All experts in different states say that we have a very good defence mechanism. Seroprevalence study by ICMR shows that almost 42% of people have antibodies in them, shows that our preventive mechanism was very good," she said. "More than 50% of the total population is still unaffected. The type of coronavirus which is spreading in this phase is Delta virus, the infectability is more. So, naturally, we are trying our best," she added.
The Health Minister said the state is conducting maximum tests to bring the situation under control. "Yesterday we conducted over 1.96 lakh tests, today we did more than 1.63 lakh tests. So, we are trying to do more tests. We want to identify every single positive case," she added. "We want to trace all positive cases because we want to reduce the cases and also want to make sure that there is no third wave. We want to bring the situation under control, so we're doing the maximum number of tests, that's why positive cases are more these days," Veena George further said.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Thursday decided to depute a high-level multidisciplinary team to Kerala.
The Centre's team will collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting effective public health measures for COVID-19 management.
The Centre is sending a 6-member team to Kerala headed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director, tweeted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
"As a large number of COVID cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid state's ongoing efforts in COVID-19 management," Mandaviya wrote.
The team shall reach Kerala on Friday, and visit a few districts, a health ministry release said.
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