Accurate Reporting or A Stubborn Virus? The Curious Case of Maharashtra, Kerala Adding to Covid Burden

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Maharashtra and Kerala, the two states which witnessed rising Covid-19 trends in the last 16 months, have reported 79,595 cases and 1.28 lakh cases respectively in the last 10 days. With this, the two states have once again emerged as the major contributors (53%) to the country's daily Covid burden.

According to a report in Times of India, there is no scientific answer yet as to why the two states continue to post a high number of cases, however, public health officials in Maharashtra and Kerala say that the high numbers are a testimony of their transparent system and accurate reporting.

Both states have different reasons for their high numbers. "There is an issue with home isolation in Kerala. People in isolation are spreading it to others at home. But the fact that Kerala has low hospitalisation rates and low deaths – 1,254 between July 1 and 10 as against 3,089 in Maharashtra indicates awareness about reaching out for healthcare in time. Kerala also has better immunisation rates, Epidemiologist Dr Giridhar Babu was quoted as saying by the newspaper. Regarding Maharashtra, he said that higher numbers indicate the virus is very much in circulation.

In a press conference on Friday, joint secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal had said, “Fifty-three per cent of the total cases of Covid-19 in the country last week primarily have been reported from two states — Maharashtra (21 per cent) and Kerala (32 per cent) — which is a cause of concern,” he said.

“We are coordinating with the states to control the spread of infection through intensive containment measures,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kerala had reported 14,087 fresh covid infections on Saturday and 109 deaths taking the total caseload to 30,39,029 and toll to 14,380. The active cases touched 1,13,115. Health Minister Veena George had recently said the virus numbers spiked due to certain unlock measures and that they were expected to go down. To add to its woes, the state now has 14 active Zika virus cases and a Central team would reach here later to assist the government in handling the situation.

Whereas, Maharashtra reported 8,992 new coronavirus cases and 200 fresh fatalities on Friday, while 10,458 patients recovered from the infection, a state health department official said. The official said with this, the tally of Covid-19 cases in the state surged to 61,40,968, while the total fatalities rose to 1,25,034. The state reported a decrease in the daily Covid-19 cases, but the fatalities rose as compared to Thursday, when it had reported 9,114 new infections and 121 deaths. The official said as many as 10,458 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recovered cases to 59,00,440.

(With inputs from PTI)

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