Kerala continues to be the hot spot of COVID in India. Ever since it reported the first COVID case of India way back in January 2020, the southern state was touted as a model for effective containment in India. As it was able to tame the spread of the infection during the first wave its praiseworthy steps like test, trace, and isolate is now being bogged down with the second wave.
Kerala now accounts for over half of the country’s total COVID infection whereas it has just 3% of India’s population. Kerala as of now has recorded over 3.4 million COVID cases, the second-highest in the country after Maharashtra, and registered over 16,000 death.
The serological survey reveals that over 43% of the population over the age of six were infected with the coronavirus. Kerala is also said to have fully inoculated around 23% of the people while 70% of the people above the age of 45 have received the first dose.
The active cases in Kerala are above one lakh and it is recording over 20,000 new cases every day. In the last week, it reported an average of 115 death per day. The positivity rate in Kerala is about 11%.
The centre had to rush in a high-level multidisciplinary team to the state in wake of a spike in daily infection. The infection upsurges in Kerala when in the rest of the country, it has waned. The Malappuram district of Kerala reports the highest number of infections with a positivity rate of 17.26 per cent.
In its report to the Union Health Ministry, the multidisciplinary team that visited Kerala to assess the situation ascribed the rise of caseload to the negligence on the part of the state in monitoring the patients in home isolation and ignoring the central guidelines.
Over 90 per cent of the patients are in home isolation thereby violating the laid guidelines. The central team also brought to notice the heavy reliance on Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) as against the gold standard RT-PCR test. The state is conducting over 80 per cent of the test through RAT.
Kerala is also ineffective in setting up the containment and microclusters zone as per the proclaimed guidelines. Contrarily, contact tracing is also abysmally low.
Amidst this, the government of Kerala has relaxed the COVID restrictions put in place in the state making Sunday the day for the imposition of lockdown in a week.