Kerala Reports Over 1,90,000 Covid Cases in a Week; State Revises Testing Strategy. Here’s a Look

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Kerala on Sunday reported 29,836 new Covid-19 cases, a marginal drop from over 30,000 cases the state had been recording for four consecutive days, taking the state's total confirmed cases to 4,007,408. Over the course of one week ending on Sunday, the state reported over 1,90,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths.

As many as 22,088 people recovered from Covid infection since Saturday, taking the total recoveries to 37,73,754 and the number of active cases to 2,12,566, according to a bulletin released today by the state government.

With 75 Covid-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the death toll reached 20,541, as per the release. The daily test positivity rate (TPR) was recorded at 19.67 per cent.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Friday that the government will convene a meeting with experts on September 1 to assess the current situation and its features to formulate a way forward.

Vijayan cited Onam as one of the reasons for the increase in Covid cases in the past few days. The worrisome surge in Covid-19 cases in the state was witnessed since the relaxations in coronavirus-induced restrictions were announced, he said.

New Testing Strategy

Meanwhile, Health minister Veena George said on Sunday that a revised Covid-19 testing strategy was being introduced in the state as more than 70 percent of eligible population have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

"More people will be screened to know the exact extent of the spread of the disease in the community. The COVID spread will be assessed in all the districts based on sentinel and random samples. All the districts would take random samples to find out any new clusters of COVID outbreaks," news agency ANI quoted her as saying.

George said that in districts where the first dose of vaccine has been given for over 80 percent of the population, RT PCR test is recommended for individuals with symptoms such as mild sore throat, cough, and diarrhea.

The minister had earlier pointed out that violation of home quarantine norms contributed to the surge in daily caseload. She said 35 per cent people in the state were infected with the disease from home, citing a recent study by the health department.

Among districts, Thrissur recorded the highest with 3,965 cases followed by Kozhikode (3,548), Malappuram (3,190), Ernakulam (3,178), Palakkad (2,816), Kollam (2,266), Thiruvananthapuram (2,150), Kottayam (1,830), Kannur (1,753), Alappuzha (1,498), Pathanamthitta (1,178), Wayanad (1,002) and Idukki 962.

Earlier, speaking exclusively to CNN-News18 George had said that more people were contracting the virus at home. She said that as per a study conducted by the state health department, 35% of the patients are getting infected from home. "The situation is such that if one person from a house contracts the virus then everyone else gets infected,” she added. The Minister has appealed to the public to remain in home quarantine only if there is sufficient facility at home.

Stressing on the steps taken by the state government to contain the virus, George had further said, "The second wave started in Kerala by middle of April, almost after one month it started in other parts of the country. We always tried to keep the number of Covid cases below the medical capacity threshold."

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