New Delhi, April 27:
Many in Kerala are fearing that Covid-19 community spread has already started in the state. The recent spike in number of coronavirus cases and the unknown source of infection hint towards community spread of the pandemic that has claimed close to 900 lives in India.
The Kerala health department could not find the source of infection for 25 coronavirus patients, including a 4-month-old baby who recently died at the Kozhikode Medical College, a 71-year-old patient and a native of Puducherry who died in Medical College Pariyaram in Kannur.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and so far the indication of community spread has not been notified anywhere in the state. We can reach a conclusion after random sampling tests conducted in the hotspots and other parts,” a senior government official in Health Department told Indiatoday.in.
Since April 21, Kerala reported more infections comparing to the recovery rate.
However, Health Minister KK Shailaja has denied community spread of Covid-19 in Kerala and stated that there is no indication that community spread has already occurred in the state.
“There is no basis for such fears and we are going ahead with wider testing. As of now, situation is under control and there is no need for panic,” Shailaja told Indiatoday.in.
Kollam, Kottayam, Idukki and Kozhikode reported more cases over the last five days. All the patients from Kottayam and Idukki recovered and district administration relaxed the lockdown in these districts. But after more people tested positive from the districts, government declared 11 villages as hotspots.
Kerala reported 11 new cases, including a government doctor in Idukki and two nurses in Kottayam on April 26. Among the newly infected, the Health Department revealed that seven were infected locally. While tracking their movement path, Health Department could not conclusively trace the source of the infection.
“It’s a serious turn as health workers including doctors are being infected with Covid-19. This can be due to three aspects either already community spread of infection has taken place or the they have not used adequate protective measures or used inferior quality of PPE kits while treating patients,” a senior doctor with Health department said.
So far 468 people have tested positive in Kerala and three died due to Covid-19. The state has tested 22,954 samples so far while 21,997 have tested negative. The state has notified 87 locations as hotspots.
According to senior government officials, the infection has already entered third phase in the state and more surveillance is required to check the virus spread.
“We are still in red zone and must follow social distancing and minimum public contact during the third phase,” the official said.
COURTESY: India Today