Kerala is likely to witness a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the months of August and September with daily infections expected to touch between 10,000 to 20,000, State Health Minister K K Shailaja said.
"Experts have opined that during the months of August and September we may witness a surge in COVID-19 cases. We may report between 10,000 to 20,000 cases per day," she said in a video campaign urging the youth to join the 'Covid Brigade' to halt the pandemic spread.
Noting that the death rate graph will start rising if the positive cases shoot up, the Minister said it should be stopped. "We must also understand that the death toll will increase with the rise in the number of cases. So, we need to put a hold on the rise in cases. For that the people must cooperate. They should strictly follow the health protocol of wearing masks, handwashing and social distancing in order to break the chain of virus from spreading," Shailaja said.
India's first Covid-19 case was reported from the southern state on January 30 when a woman medical student tested positive on her return to the state from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus. The second and third cases in the country were also Wuhan returnees.
On May 5, the state had 500 cases, which doubled to 1,000 by May 27. On July 4, Kerala reported 5000 cases, by July 16 the state breached the 10,000 mark and by July 28, over 20,000 cases were reported.
On Thursday, Kerala recorded 1,564 cases, taking the total infection tally to 39,708. Three deaths were also reported yesterdaytaking the toll to 129. Appealing to the youth to join the 'Covid Brigade,' which will become a model to the world, she said thousands of health workers and other personnel are fighting the pandemic.
There is a need for more volunteers -- both medical and non medical -- to come forward and join the war against the disease. Practitioners of modern medicine as well as ayurveda, homeo, dental along with lab technicians, pharmacists and nurses can join the brigade.
"People from non-medical fields like MSW, MHA, MBA holders, are required for the fight and they should also register for joining our Covid Brigade. All those who wish to volunteer should register for joining. This historic move will be a model to the world," she pointed out.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on July 23, announced the formation of the 'Covid Brigade' consisting of doctors, nurses, para medical staff and volunteers to man the First Line Treatment Centres (FLTC).
"More people are needed to strengthen Covid defensive operations in view of the rising numbers of cases. We have worked out an integrated action plan," Vijayan had said.