THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state reporting more than 400 new Covid-19 cases and 200-plus persons contracting the virus through local transmission for the third straight day on Sunday, the health department released a detailed report on the coronavirus clusters. As per the same, the state has 35 active clusters, of which Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram and Ponnani in Malappuram have large community clusters (more than 50 locally transmitted cases in an identified geographical area).
Meanwhile, the state reported 435 Covid-19 positive cases on Sunday of whom 206 persons were infected through local transmission. “The WHO itself says that small clusters of Covid-19 cases can quickly mushroom and if these go undetected, it will be like a forest fire which is not easy to bring under control. The total clusters that have formed in the state are 47, 12 of which were contained. Of the remaining 35, worrying signs are coming from Poonthura and Ponnani,” said a health department officer.
Need high alert in 4 districts
As per the report titled ‘State Report on Clusters’, other than Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram, the districts requiring special attention are Alappuzha, Kannur, Palakkad and Thrissur.
“In Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram, there is evidence of recent local transmissions and an increase in locally acquired cases. New clusters are evolving. It is also important to identify early warning signs such as stray positive cases in more numbers with the source of infection unknown, sudden death, a sudden increase in fever cases, respiratory illnesses and others. Kannur will have to give special attention regarding CISF and DSC camps. For Alappuzha, the focus should be clusters at the Indo Tibetan Border Police camp. In Thrissur’s case, surveillance will have to be strengthened in coastal areas,” says the report.
Palakkad finds a special reference in the report, highlighting that there are at least nine places in the district where clusters could evolve. For these, the report recommends special cluster containment measures like aggressive contact tracing, testing all severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases at all health facilities with RT-PCR tests and active case search.
Besides the two large community clusters, the report points to 27 limited clusters (two locally transmitted cases or more in a division/ward within 14 days but not in the same households), three closed clusters (like CISF, defence camps) and three institutional clusters (at hospitals or offices). As per the list, Kasaragod and Wayanad have no active cluster. The report was prepared after analysing data of two weeks with July 9 as the deadline.
10 health workers infected
Of the 435 cases reported on Sunday, 128 people came from abroad and 87 from other states. Ten health workers (four from Alappuzha, two from Thiruvananthapuram and one each from Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Kasaragod), one Defence Security Corps and one CISF personnel in Kannur were also infected.