Surge in local contact cases pushing Kerala towards community transmission

Facing an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases, the state took just two days to touch the 8,000 mark after having crossed 7,000.

Published: 14th July 2020 04:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2020 04:39 AM   |  A+A-

A policeman tries to disperse the crowd in front of a liquor outlet at Willingdon Island in Kochi. Such places are turning out to be high-risk areas with many flouting social distancing rules | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Facing an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases, the state took just two days to touch the 8,000 mark after having crossed 7,000. After the first coronavirus case was detected on January 30, it took 120 days for the cases to reach 1,000.On July 9, total cases in the state stood at 6,534. Over the next four days, 1,788 new cases were added.

Alarmingly, 788 local transmission cases were reported between July 10 and 13. On Monday, 449 people turned positive, with the overall figure reading 8,322. “The stats show the state is facing an alarming situation,” said Rajendra Pilankatta of the School of Medicine and Public Health, Central University of Kerala. 

“The formation of clusters and a rise in cases with unknown sources of infection are worrying. Unless the break-the-chain campaign is implemented in letter and spirit, it will just be a matter of time before the virus spreads through the population resulting in community transmission.” 

For the fourth consecutive day, the daily tally of coronavirus cases crossed the four hundred mark. Though local transmission cases fell below the 200-mark, at 144, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the challenge is rising by the day. Should those in the vulnerable groups get infected on a large scale, the existing ICU/ventilator facilities will be overwhelmed and the situation may go out of hand, he said.

New cases include two deaths, five health workers and 77 ITBP personnel. For the first time, fire and rescue services personnel turned positive. “In 18 new cases, the source of infection remains unknown. The state has 51 active clusters, including two large community clusters (more than 50 locally transmitted cases in an identified geographical area) at Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram and Ponnani in Malappuram. The most disheartening thing is that some people are yet to understand the gravity of the situation,” the CM said.


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