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Genetic studies needed to detect new variants as Covid cases rise in Kerala: Experts

Experts have recommended proper and systematic genetic studies and seroprevalence surveys in Kerala to confirm the presence of variant strains.

Published: 30th July 2021 04:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2021 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

A tuberculosis patient being tested for COVID-19 in Tirupati

Reasons for recent sharp increase in Covid cases include norms and precautions being flouted. (File photo | Madhav K, EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: With Covid cases rising steadily in the state again, the number of patients being admitted to hospitals is also going  up by the day. Several reasons, including Covid norms and precautions being flouted, mismanagement, presence of virus variants and inadequacy of prevention and control strategies, are being cited for the  sharp increase. Experts have recommended proper and systematic genetic studies and seroprevalence surveys in Kerala to confirm the presence of variant strains.

"No proper surveillance and genetic studies are taking place at present in Kerala. The results of the latest seroprevalence study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also cannot be considered conclusive, as they have collected a small number of samples from Kerala. Therefore, a Kerala-specific seroprevalence survey should be undertaken to understand the Covid situation,” said Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kerala secretary Dr Gopikumar P.

ALSO READ | Kerala model of Covid management gets both brickbats and pats even as cases rise

Along with Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi had witnessed a high number of infections. However, the four other states have recovered from a critical stage of the wave and the number of cases has come down. Kerala remains on top of the list of the new Covid cases.As many as 22,064 persons tested positive for Covid on Thursday, with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 13.52%. Over 1.54 lakh active cases are in the state.

In many hospitals, Covid beds are getting filled, adding a slow but steady burden on the hospitals. “For the past few weeks, we are seeing a gradual increase in the number of Covid patients, but the requirement of intensive care unit beds and ventilators has come down. The severity of the infection varies from those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. In those who at least took the first dose of the vaccine, the severity and complications are much lesser when compared to those who have not taken vaccination at all,” said Dr Monu Varghese, pulmonologist based in Kochi.

“There is still a lot of susceptible population yet to be infected and the infection is spreading now. Home clusters are adding to the numbers in a majority of the cases. The system in place earlier is not being followed and the present one is not efficient enough to monitor the patients at home. Vaccination is the key to bringing down the TPR and tackling the Covid situation,” said a health official.

Situation in state
Reasons for recent sharp increase in Covid cases include norms and precautions being flouted, mismanagement, presence of virus variants and inadequacy of prevention and control strategies
In many hospitals, Covid beds are getting filled, adding a slow but steady burden on the hospitals. 



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