THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When will the rate of transmission of Covid-19 witness a decline in the state? While Covid-19 state expert committee head B Ekbal says that it could happen by mid-September, many others differ. They say that the next two or three weeks will determine where the state is heading to. Public health experts also say that to flatten the curve, the people will have to religiously follow the basic safety protocols like wearing facemasks and practising social distancing.
“Given the current trend and the strong intervention being made by the government, the state will witness a slump in the rate of infection transmission by mid-September,” said Ekbal in a Facebook post. However, according to him, it will be determined by factors like quarantine, reverse quarantine, social distancing and wearing masks.
“To bring the transmission rate under control, flawless implementation of these measures is needed. The state has Covid hospitals for taking care of serious patients. For treating not that serious cases, a number of Covid First-Line Treatment Centres have been established. Allowing asymptomatic patients to opt for home care is also in active consideration of the government,” added Ekbal. According to him, another factor that gives hope is the arrival of a vaccine for Covid-19 possibly by December.
Meanwhile, a member of the state medical board for Covid-19 said it will only by mid-October that the cases will start to flatten. The member also added that the upward trend will continue for some more time.
‘Next two-three weeks are crucial’
According to Dr Anup Warrier, head, infectious diseases and infection control, Aster DM Healthcare, much will depend on the case scenario that evolves in the next two or three weeks. “If we look at other states which have had high numbers, the surge continues even after three months. But a few states have managed to arrest the spread in this period and brought down the numbers. For Kerala, what happens in the next two or three weeks will tell if the state will go the Tamil Nadu or Karnataka way,” said Anup.
According to Dr Ishwar Gilada, consultant in HIV and infectious diseases, Kerala, which was a ray of hope and considered a model for replication in Covid-19 control earlier, is witnessing an escalation of cases now. Though the cases are spiking, the low death rate is an advantage for the state as, according to him, if the death rate remains below one per cent, the battle against Covid-19 is half won.
Police restrict number of customers in supermarkets
T’Puram: The police have imposed restrictions in the functioning of supermarkets in the state. As per the new order by State Police Chief Loknath Behera, not more than six customers per 100-sq-ft area of a supermarket will be allowed to enter. The department has also directed the supermarket owners to keep the number of employees to bare minimum and make provisions for maintaining social distancing norms among customers. Institutions, including banks, have been directed to avoid crowding and the local police have been told to take legal action against those who assemble outside flouting Covid protocols.