THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With concern rising over the possibility of community transmission of Covid-19 in the state, the health department has come out with an action plan for augmenting testing. For the same, testing centres, mainly walk-in sample kiosks (WISK) and mobile sample collection units will come up at the block and taluk levels. Besides, in each district, a District Sample Hub which will act as the nodal testing lab for the samples received - will also be set up. On Saturday the state recorded a new high in the single-day spike with 240 positive cases.
The 240 cases include CISF and BSF personnel (four each) and 11 Defence Service Corps personnel. With this, the total number of cases crossed the 5,000 mark and stands at 5,204. For the third consecutive day, more than 200 got recovered from the illness thus taking the tally of recovered ones to 3,048. On the day, 209 persons recovered.
“The epidemic figures show importation of new cases forms a major chunk of Covid-19 cases reported in the state. But what bothers most is the identification of a few cases from sentinel surveillance. Though it can’t be surmised as a signal towards community transmission, there is a silent transmission for certain,” said a health department official.
As per a document approved by Rajan Khobragade, health principal secretary, for augment testing, districts were asked to increase the testing rate by establishing adequate sample collection facilities. Another major initiative that the health department is planning to undertake is the establishment of a district sample hub. As per the proposal, it could be either the district public health lab or district hospital lab or general hospital lab.
Along with that, the district-level officers were also asked to identify a sample way - a road route - which connects all taluks of the district in such a way that it reaches the district hub in minimum time. “In every block, there will be at least one WISK. Samples from all eligible persons from the block will be collected here. Also, in every taluk, there will be a taluk sample collection centre. Each district should develop a sample collection action plan,” reads an excerpt of the action plan.
240 more cases in state
The positive cases were 37 from Malappuram, 35 from Kannur, 29 from Palakkad, 22 from Pathanamthitta, 20 each from Alappuzha and Thrissur, 16 each from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, 14 from Kasaragod, 13 from Ernakulam, eight from Kozhikode, six from Kottayam and two each from Idukki and Wayanad. The day also recorded 17 cases due to close contact. They were five from Ernakulam, four from Thiruvananthapuram, three from Thrissur, two from Kollam and Alappuzha and one from Malappuram. The recovered ones were 44 from Palakkad, 38 from Kollam, 36 from Alappuzha, 20 from Pathanamthitta, 16 from Kannur, 15 from Thiruvananthapuram, 10 from Thrissur, nine from Kottayam, seven from Ernakulam, six each from Malappuram and Kasaragod and two from Idukki.
13 hotspots on Saturday
With 13 more places added, the number of active hotspots in the state increased to 135 on Saturday. The new places added are: Nagaroor, Ottasekharamangalam and Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram; Thillengery, Chokli, Ezhome, Thaliparamba municipality and Mayyil in Kannur; Chellanam, Piravom and Paingottoor in Ernakulam; Aarattupuzha in Alappuzha and Thachanattukara in Palakkad. Seven places were removed from the list on Saturday.