State’s test positivity rate drops below 10%

5,537 persons test positive, 6,119 persons recover

Kerala’s COVID-19 case graph which had hit a plateau after October 24 has begun to show signs of a gradual dip, as the number of new cases reported on Thursday dropped to 5,537 when 57,202 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.

The test positivity rate dipped below 10% for the first time in months on Thursday to touch 9.68%.

Caution advised

However, public health experts point out that it will take several peaks and troughs before the epidemic curve will truly go down and that the virus will not go away until a significant proportion of the population is infected or unless a vaccine can be administered to the population at large to achieve herd immunity.

The dip in cases could lead the public to relax the safety precautions and this is likely to lead to a flare-up in transmission as much of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

The State again recorded more recoveries than new cases on Thursday, with 6,119 patients leaving hospitals for home. The cumulative case burden of the State reached 5,08,256, of whom, 4,28,529 persons have recovered so far.

The active case pool has been declining steadily in the State for the past three weeks and went down to 77,813 cases on Thursday.

25 deaths

The State added 25 more deaths to the official COVID death list, taking the toll till date to 1,796. Unofficial charts maintained by public health experts reckon Kerala’s cumulative COVID toll to be higher by another 1,500 deaths at least.

Of the new deaths reported, Kozhikode accounted for five, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram three each, Kollam two, while Kottayam, Malappuram and Kannur reported one death each.

Critically ill

At present, official estimates put the number of COVID-19 patients who are critically ill and in ICUs at 928, with 235 requiring ventilator support.

Of the new cases reported on Thursday, 5,397 (97.4%) cases are locally acquired infections with 653 cases traced to no known source of infection. The number of health care workers who contracted the infection is 61.

Among districts, Thrissur reported 727 cases, Kozhikode 696, Malappuram 617, Alappuzha 568, Ernakulam 489, Palakkad 434, Kollam 399, Thiruvananthapuram 386, Kannur 346, Kottayam 344, Idukki 185, Pathanamthitta 138, Kasaragod 108, and Wayanad 100 cases.

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