Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the state has witnessed 255 per cent increase in active cases in the last two weeks even as the southern state reported 32,819 cases, the highest ever single day surge. Vijayan, who met the media after the COVID-19 evaluation meet, said the government has decided to strictly implement the restrictions considering the grim situation in the state due to the rising numbers.
He also said the information about the presence of genetically modified viruses in the state is being taken seriously. “The numbers of Covid-infected people and the rate of the disease spread continues unabated. There is the presence of the genetically mutant virus (double mutant variant) on a large scale. There has been a 255 per cent increase in the active cases in Kerala in the last two weeks. The situation across the state is grim,” Vijayan said.
He said considering the rising numbers, screening will be augmented at railway stations, airports and in places where there is a large number of guest workers. “Oxygen requirements will be proactively addressed and steps have been taken to significantly increase the number of oxygen beds. All major hospitals and CFLTCs would ensure oxygen beds. The beds in ESI hospitals will be converted into oxygen beds,” he added.
Vijayan said there was a shortage ofhealthcare workers and urgedthepeople to join the COVID brigade. “The Covid Brigade has 13,625 personnel, including doctors and nurses, but this is inadequate in the present situation. More people should come forward willing to be part of the Covid Brigade,” he added.
Vijayan said the risk assessment study conducted on the three genetically modified viruses found in Kerala evaluated the spread of the disease, the risk of death and the ability to make the vaccine ineffective. “Accordingly, they have been found to accelerate the spread of the disease. Another issue is whether mutated viruses increase mortality? If the number of patients increases more than what our health system can handle, the situation will turn awful. We need to strictly follow the disease preventive measures to avoid such a situation,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the issues related to the online registration for vaccination can be resolved only if enough vaccine stocks are available and that the government is taking necessary steps to address the vaccine shortage. The Chief Minister reiterated that we need to exercise extreme caution if we have to avoid a total lockdown in the state.
As many as 18,413 people were cured on Tuesday taking the total recoveries to 12,07,680. The COVID-19 caseload has touched 14,60,364, while the active cases have mounted to 2,47,181.
The toll has surged to 5170- with 32 deaths. The state had tested 1,41,199 samples in the last 24 hours and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is 23.4 per cent.
Ernakulam district has the highest number of people presently undergoing treatment for the infection– 39,594, followed by Kozhikode 34,986,and Malappuram 26,188.