The rising Covid-19 cases in Kerala are expected to come down by mid-September if strict containment and lockdown measures are followed, top sources in the health ministry have said as the southern state struggles to control the spread of the pandemic.
“There is no other way but to lock down areas where infection rate is high. The test positivity rate is high and cases can only come down if strict lockdown is implemented,” the sources said.
They added that the state needs a strategic and smart containment, including a night curfew only in view of festivities to break chain of transmission like it happened in Delhi.
“The infection spread has been high for over a month and if strict lockdown is implemented now, in two weeks from now, by mid of September, Kerala will see start to see decline in number of cases,” they said.
Kerala has reported an average of 13,500 cases per day in July and almost 19,500 daily cases in August. It also remains one of the top contributors in terms of daily cases and is accounting for more than half of the active Covid cases in the country at present.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George, who reviewed the state’s Covid-19 situation earlier this week after the ‘Onam surge’, has also blamed the violation of home quarantine directives for the worsening situation and cautioned against the increased indoor transmission of coronavirus at homes.
George has repeatedly advised those placed under home quarantine not to step out of their room and asked all members of the house to wear masks to avoid risk of indoor transmission.She also released a set of directives to be followed by the people to fight the disease.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who visited Kerala on August 16, announced a special package of Rs 267.35 crore for the southern state to strengthen its health infrastructure.
The central government has warned the state government that the months of September and October will be crucial in pandemic management and cautioned that festivals should be celebrated in accordance with Covid-19-appropriate behaviour.
“During a pandemic the most important factor is to reduce the deaths. In Kerala, the mortality rate is 0.51 per cent whereas the national mortality rate is 1.34 per cent,” Vijayan said on Saturday.
The southern state – that earlier garnered appreciation for its handling of the pandemic – recorded over 30,000 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, while India’s tally was 41,965. The state has been reporting more than 10,000 new cases every day for more than a month even as other states witnessed a drop in daily surge.
Kerala has logged over 40 lakh cases since the start of the pandemic, and over 20,000 deaths linked to the virus.