Seven districts in Kerala are the top focus of the Centre’s efforts to control the Covid-19 situation in the state, senior central government officials told News18.
Five of these districts reported an alarming test positivity rate of over 20% in the week ending August 25, during the Onam festivity week, central data showed.
Two other districts had lower test positivity rates, but reported the highest number of fresh cases and deaths during the last two days, as the Centre reviewed the Covid-19 situation on Thursday.
The Union Home Secretary has asked for increased intervention in geographical areas of Kerala having higher infection rates and to explore imposing a night curfew in required places.
Thrissur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Pallakkad and Mallapuram had reported test positivity rates in the range of 20.5% to 23% in the week starting August 19 to August 25, as per the Health Ministry. This was after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had visited Kerala to meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on August 16 and advised caution.
The state has reported over 30,000 cases each for the last two days in a row and had a test positivity rate of nearly 18% on August 26.
Ernakulum district has reported the maximum number of 7,920 cases on August 25 and 26, making it the sixth district to come under the top focus of the Centre.
The high-test positivity districts also reported a huge number of cases over the last two days with Kozhikode at 7,141 cases, Thirussur at 7,022, Mallapuram at 6,487 and Pallakad at 4,823 cases.
Kannur is the seventh district which is on top of the Centre’s concern list as it has reported the maximum number of deaths, 90, in the state over the last two days. The next on the list of death count over the last two days are the existing high-test positivity districts of Pallakad with 62 deaths, Thirussur at 53 deaths and Kozhikode at 41 deaths, as per the state’s data.
The state’s daily health bulletin also shows that there are nearly 2,800 patients hospitalized in a critical condition in Kerala, including 2,131 admitted in ICU and 757 on ventilators. This is concerning for the Centre as 162 deaths were reported from Kerala on August 26 and 215 on August 25.
The state has reported cumulative 19,972 Covid-19 deaths so far.
The Health Ministry on Thursday said Kerala had been given a four-point formula to control Covid when Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had visited Kerala last week.
“The state was asked to increase testing and contact tracing as the latter was less than two people being contact traced. The state was advised better monitoring of home isolation patients as 80% people are in home isolation. Covid appropriate behavior in festivals and avoiding mass gatherings was advised and Kerala was also asked to speed-up vaccination and increase coverage of the same,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said.