Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Thursday warned against rising cases of coronavirus and possibility of more deaths in the state. She also cautioned that there might be a shortage of ventilators if more elderly people get infected.
The minister was speaking at the inauguration of renovated facilities at the Kalamaserry Medical college in Ernakulam district. Her remarks came at a day when the state recorded over 3,000 new cases and 12 deaths.
“We have managed to keep the death toll below 500 till now. Experts have said that under different circumstances, we might have seen close to 10,000 deaths but we managed to avert that till now. But now, with the Unlock process initiated across the country, we will see more deaths. We have to be very careful,” Shailaja said.
The minister added that Kerala has built a strong foundation and that should not collapse and it should have the mindset to handle any crisis.
She also cautioned against a risk of shortage of ventilators in hospitals if more elderly people get infected with the virus.
“There will be shortage of ventilators.The pandemic has created a crisis of ventilators everywhere in the world. Even after booking through KMSCL we are waiting for the orders to be delivered. We are only getting 10 or 20 at a time,” the minister said.
Speaking on the issues of hospital beds, the minister said no matter how many patients come, there shouldn’t be a situation of them being abandoned. They must be accommodated either in Covid First Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC) or designated Covid-19 hospital. The ICU should also be better prepared and the administration is doing that, she added.
Addressing doctors and medical staff, the minister said that health workers have to be prepared mentally and physically for the tough days that lie ahead.
In India the first case was reported from Kerala in January 30 and as of September 10, the state has a total of over 99,000 cases out of which 26,229 are active cases.
By first week of May the number of active cases in Kerala were reduced to 16 but as people started to come in to the state from India and abroad, the numbers rose. More than 50 percent of the cases were reported in the last one month.