Pace of transmission a cause for concern

State reports 10,031 new COVID-19 cases when 67,775 samples were tested

The unprecedented pace of COVID-19 transmission in Kerala in the second wave might see the State going past the peak of the first epidemic curve this week itself, public health experts say.

When the State hit the epidemic’s first peak on October 24, 2020, the active case pool had 97,417 patients. The second wave has seen the State’s case graph rise steadily since March 23, when the active case pool had 23,883 patients. On Friday, in a space of 24 days, this has increased to 69,868 cases.

One of the biggest advantages the State had during the first peak was that the case levels were well within the health system’s surge capacity. However, if the current pace of disease transmission continues, the State could be looking at an extremely challenging situation of its hospitals running out of beds and ICUs for COVID-19 patients.

Already, the number of hospitalisations and deaths have been going up and ICUs are getting filled, doctors say.

On Friday, the number of new cases reported crossed 10,031, to take the cumulative case burden to 12,07,332. In the past 24 hours, 67,775 samples were tested and the test positivity rate has risen to 14.8%.

The active case pool has 69, 868 patients, with two districts having over 10,000 active cases. districts. Kozhikode has 10,269 patients, while Ernakulam has 10,132 active cases. Kannur is close behind with 7,190 patients. Cases are rising in all other districts too.

With 3,792 recoveries being reported on the day, the cumulative recoveries touched 11,32,267. New hospital admissions rose to 1,611. On Friday, 18,477 persons were newly added to the pool of people on home or institutional quarantine. The State has 1,95,096 persons in home or institutional quarantine.

The addition of 21 new deaths which took place in the past few days to the official list took the State’s cumulative toll to 4,877. Ernakulam reported six deaths, Kozhikode five, Kottayam three, Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram two each, while one death each was reported from Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur.

The number of critically ill patients who are currently being treated in ICUs in various hospitals spiralled from 699 on Thursday to 744 on Friday, according to official reports. The number of patients requiring ventilator assistance has also risen to 221.

Among districts, Kozhikode reported the maximum number of cases at 1,560, followed by Ernakulam 1,391, Malappuram 882, Kottayam 780, Thiruvananthapuram 750, Alappuzha 745, Thrissur 737, Kannur 673, Kasaragod 643, Palakkad 514, Kollam 454, Wayanad 348, Idukki 293 and Pathanamthitta 261 cases.

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