Second COVID wave, UK strain, Shigella outbreak: Kerala health department has its hands full

According to health authorities, people travelling from the UK might have already landed in the state and come in contact with residents.

Published: 25th December 2020 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2020 01:52 PM   |  A+A-


Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After many bleak months, the city is once again coming alive around Christmas and New Year. But for district authorities, the post-poll festive season comes with fresh challenges. Apart from the looming threat of a second wave of the pandemic, Shigella outbreak, the possibility of a mutant variant of Covid-19 entering the country and spiralling vector borne diseases are worrying health department officials

The threat of a new strain of Covid-19 virus that was detected in the UK entering the country has caused district health authorities to step up surveillance in the capital city. Monitoring has been stepped up at the airport as passengers who are in transit may arrive in Thiruvananthapuram from the Gulf or western countries, said K S Shainu, district medical officer.

“It is a big relief that the government has banned flights from the UK. But we are anticipating passengers who are in transit till December 31 might enter the state capital. Our plan is to immediately isolate those passengers to the institutional quarantine centre. RT PCR test would be conducted the very next day. If they test negative, we will send them back home for 14 days of strict quarantine,” said Shinu. He said that all passengers would be screened.

According to health authorities, people travelling from the UK might have already landed in the state and come in contact with residents. “People who come from foreign countries are quarantined only for seven  days, and take antigen tests after that. If they test negative, they won’t have to be in quarantine. If they don’t take the test, they will have to stay in seclusion for 14 days. After a point, it is difficult for the authorities to enforce all these rules,” said an official. 

Health department officials are not very keen about implementing Section 144 to avoid crowding during the festival season. “The authorities were struggling to enforce the restrictions imposed during the lockdown. Now it’s going to be impossible to enforce it,” the official said.

Communicable diseases (Jan to Dec, 2020)

Fever - 109513
Chikungunya - 528
Dengue -625
Leptospirosis -174
Scrub Typhus - 314 
H1N1 - 8561
Acute Diarrhoeal Disease (ADD) - 20056
Chicken Pox -1525
Hepatitis A - 20
Hepatitis B --40
Hepatitis C - 10
Malaria -14

Cases in Dec (Till 23)

Fever - 6368 
Chikungunya - 29 
Dengue - 29 
Leptospirosis -13
H1N1 - 1353
ADD - 1167
Chickenpox - 26
Hepatitis A- 2
Hepatitis B - 1 
Hepatitis C - 2
Mumps - 2
Malaria -2 
Scrub Typhus - 21


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