THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala surpassed neighbouring Tamil Nadu to fifth position in the number of active Covid-19 cases on Friday. The active cases rose to 48,892 in Kerala, 2,506 more than nearby Tamil Nadu. The state reported 6,000-plus cases for the second straight day. Of the 6,477 total cases, 6,131 patients were infected through local transmission. Sources of infection of 713 people remained unknown. According to Dr B Ekbal, chairperson, expert committee on Covid management, Kerala follows a discharge policy which has a higher average of treatment days when compared to many other states, including Tamil Nadu.
“In Kerala a patient is declared to have recovered if he tests negative. But states are free to announce asymptomatic patients as Covid-free after 10 days as per the ICMR guidelines. In Kerala, the average treatment days would be 10-plus or even two weeks while it would be a couple of days in some other states,” he said.
Kerala’s peak started when the pandemic is showing a downward trend in other places, according to the chairperson, who says the peak will continue until early or mid-October if the present precautions continue. The number of active cases too will be high considering the number of new cases and the long treatment period.
‘Low death rate maintained despite surge in cases’
“The reverse quarantine was successful to a large extent in Kerala. Situation won’t go beyond control if this and the Break the Chain guidelines are followed in the same spirit,” said Dr B Ekbal, chairperson, expert committee on Covid management.“Apart from the caseload, the fatality rate is what matters,” said Ekbal. “Despite the surge in cases, we are able to maintain low death rate which shows that we are on the right track,” he said.
The back-to-normal situation at public and private organisations will have an impact on the reverse quarantine, feels Dr Rajendra Pilankatta, head of the department of biochemistry, Central University of Kerala.“It may not be easy for families to follow the reverse quarantine when youngsters go out for work. Population of the aged is high in Kerala due to the high life expectancy and most of them would be suffering from some kind of ailment. The casualty will be big if the reverse quarantine is affected,” he said. The situation is alarming and the medical infrastructure will not be able to handle consecutive doubling of daily caseload, Dr Rajendra said.
The high prevalence of diabetes and significant prevalence of kidney and cardio vascular ailments increase the risk factor, he added.Thiruvananthapuram continued to top in the state in daily count with 814 fresh cases, followed by Malappuram (784) and Kozhikode (690). As many as 22 Covid deaths were reported on the day. They included 18-year-old Akash from Vaikom in Kottayam. Five of the deceased were aged below 50. As many as 3,481 persons recovered on the day. There are 2.15 lakh people under observation in the state.