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Covid-19 mutant strain raises alarm in Capital

With the confirmed cases of infection with the new strain of Coronavirus, a high alert has been sounded by the district administration.

Published: 06th January 2021 07:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2021 07:17 AM   |  A+A-

EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Six cases of the infection with new strain were reported  in the state this week.The district administration has disseminated awareness on precautionary measures  and will be launching an extensive campaign on the same

With the confirmed cases of infection with the new strain of Coronavirus, a high alert has been sounded by the district administration. The DMO (District medical office) has isolated all returnees from the UK and other European countries as part of precautionary measures. An extensive awareness campaign will be launched to help protect the public from getting infected by the new variant. 

According to the health experts, the infectivity rate of the new variant is higher and could infect 40 out of 100 people coming in contact with it. Currently, there are 3,443 active Covid-19 cases in the district. The DMO has opened more CFLTCs in the district to manage a possible surge triggered by the mutant variant of Covid-19. On Monday, six persons tested positive for the new mutant strain in the state. According to sources, there are approximately 19 people who returned from the UK. All of them are under strict surveillance. 

District Medical Officer K S Shinu said that there have been  no positive cases reported among the UK returnees in Thiruvananthapuram so far. “None of the samples that we sent to NIV, Pune, came positive and all we can do is ensure strict quarantine for those who have returned. Cases are currently declining in the capital and the CFLTCs are mostly empty,” he said. Shinu added that three more samples have been sent to NIV, Pune for further scrutiny. 

Reorganising machinery, an impossible task However, according to health officials, it is impossible to channel the entire machinery for the containment of Covid-19. “We have reassigned the officials back to their core responsibilities. Routine activities crucial to keep other communicable diseases in check have not been implemented in the past year. Therefore, we cannot redeploy them for Covid duty. The public has to strictly adhere to protocols,” the official said. 

 “The only issue with the new variant is its highly contagious nature. But the properties of the virus are the same and hence we have to follow the existent rules such as social distancing, hygiene and using masks. District health authorities should step up surveillance and undertake contact tracing to contain the spread of the mutant strain. The variant has been found in its initial stage and can be contained,” the official said. According to health experts, reverse quarantine was effective in the state. 

“More people in the state are committed to taking precautionary measures, unlike other states where people do not wear masks. Fortunately, Keralites have acknowledged the nature of the disease,” the official said. 

All eyes on treatment centres
Covid First-Line Treatment Centres
Total number: 9
Total number 
of beds: 1,555
Number of beds occupied: 175
Covid Second-Line Treatment centres
Total number: 7
Total number 
of beds: 494
Number of beds occupied: 113

Status of  Covid-19 patients (Medical College Hospital and General Hospital)
Total number of beds earmarked for Covid patients 1,088
Under treatment: 403
Admitted with severe symptoms (ICU): 100
Admitted with mild symptoms: 20 
Admitted with asymptomatic symptoms: 283
Total number of patients under home isolation:  2,264



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