‘Chilling reminder’ of the peak phase of infection in 2021, say public health activists
The Covid test positivity rate (TPR) shot up to 16.32 per cent in Kerala on Wednesday, from 13.30 per cent on the previous day. A section of public health activists believe this is a ‘chilling reminder’ of an unsparing spiral during the peaking phase of the Covid-19 pandemic during March-April-May last year.
Could be more intense
The state reported 3,419 new cases on Wednesday, when 20,948 samples were tested. This could be a proxy for a much larger spread that has not been identified because ‘fewer tests than desired’ are being taken up currently.
The number of active cases is 18,345, of which Ernakulam accounts for 5,641; Thiruvananthapuram, 3,664; and Kottayam, 2035, according to Health Department statistics. These districts also had the most daily new cases. Eight Covid-related deaths were reported on Wednesday, seven of which had occurred in recent days and were confirmed with a delay, while one was added to the list following the appeal procedure.
Precaution dose drive
Meanwhile, Health Minister Veena George said the state will launch a six-day campaign from today (Thursday) to publicise the third or precaution dose. Healthcare workers would carry the dose home to those in palliative care, to bedridden patients, and inmates of elderly care homes.
A high-level meeting convened by the minister was informed that the Omicron variant, which was still circulating in the state, had triggered the spread. While it did not cause serious infection, the variant could transmit the infection at a much faster pace than its predecessors, which explained the latest spiral, experts said.