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Daily Covid cases cross 1,500-mark, Kerala expects September peak

Health min says there could be between 10,000 and 20,000 cases a day; five districts to have the biggest viral load, state seeks agencies’ help for mgmt

Published: 14th August 2020 05:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2020 05:14 AM   |  A+A-

File picture of a Kochi Corporation worker spraying disinfectant inside a school in the city Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala reported 1,000-plus Covid-19 cases for the 10th consecutive day and the highest single-day spike on Thursday with 1,564 more people testing positive. Things could get worse with a Health Department assessment saying Covid-19 cases could spike in September.The department also expects five districts — Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur — to have the biggest caseload.
To prepare for the worst-case scenario, the Health Department has already sought the technical advice and expertise of agencies including the World Health Organisation’s Country Office for India (WCO). Efforts are also on to mobilise manpower under the banner of Covid Brigade.

“A peak is inevitable, it seems. World over, the infection had peaked at some point of time, then it plateaued and showed signs of flattening later. The projections had pointed to such a scenario in case of Kerala as well,” said a Health Department official.

Corroborating the same, Health Minister K K Shailaja said on Thursday that the government has received an expert opinion that cases will start to spike in September. The minister said the state can expect 10,000-20,000 cases daily. She added that efforts are on to deal with it. Shailaja, however, added that there could be more deaths with the increase in number of cases.

The WCO stated in its situation report that it has started to help the state machinery in aspects like epidemiological assessment, surveillance, testing, case management and its containment, as well as research activities for Covid-19 at the state and district levels. In addition, the WCO will assist in the management of patients’ admission and bed/ICU availability in the high-burden districts.

“Since the first case was reported on January 30, the WCO has been helping the state by providing technical assistance and expert advice in managing the pandemic effectively. In the wake of the evolving special situation, the office has become part of the newly set-up district programme management and support unit,” added the officer.

The setting up of such a unit at the district level, proposed last month, focuses on establishing a system for real time management of beds, ICUs, ventilators and other facilities at public and private hospitals. The aim is to prevent the healthcare system from collapsing.

The Health Department and Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), in their projections earlier, had said a spike in cases could be expected by August-end or September.In June the KSDMA ad said the state would become stable by October-November if it manages to limit the infection within the returnees. It said if the returnees transmit the infection to contacts and local spread happens, the cases are not going to decline this year and will proceed to 2021.

Covid-19 state expert committee head Dr B Ekbal had said in a statement that by mid-September the number of new cases would fall. The cases are spiralling due to local transmission.

State gets ready to handle caseload
 Five districts­­ — T’Puram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur — expected to have the
biggest caseload
The WCO has been helping the state in different fields
The office will now assist state in the management of patients’ admission and bed/ICU availability


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