scorecardresearch
Centre orders Kerala to provide updated COVID-19 data daily

Centre orders Kerala to provide updated COVID-19 data daily

Govt said that daily and diligent reporting of data is critical to arrive at a meaningful understanding of pandemic in the districts, state and national level.

Authorities reported 2,183 new infections on Monday, taking the running total to more than 43 million, according to health ministry data. Authorities reported 2,183 new infections on Monday, taking the running total to more than 43 million, according to health ministry data.

After witnessing a decline for over a month, the COVID-19 curve in India is again going upwards. While the daily tally of cases dipped below 1,000 in the previous week, the country recorded over 2,183 new cases in the last 24 hours.  

The central government has however, attributed the increase in cases to the data lag by states, especially Kerala. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary at Union health ministry, wrote a letter to the health department of Kerala stating that there is a need for continued intensive monitoring at State and District level to detect emerging challenges and undertake suitable steps for preparedness and management of Covid-19.  

"It has been observed that Kerala has reported its state level Covid-19 data after a gap of 5 days (since 13th April). This has impacted and skewed the status of India's key monitoring indicators like cases, deaths, and positivity. India has reported a 90% increase in new cases, and 165% increase in positivity in a single day," said Agarwal.

The official further said that daily and diligent reporting of data is critical to arrive at a meaningful understanding of pandemic in the districts, state and national level and ensure that any anomalies, surge or emerging trends can be captured in a timely manner.  

 "This is especially relevant as it is a highly infectious disease and has an associated risk of emergence of new variants. Quick and continuous update of data will assist in India's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and will help not only in tracking and monitoring but will also help redefining the strategies and plans at the Centre, State and District level," he said urging the state to ensure that daily updation of required details is undertaken by the state to Union Ministry of Health.

 Public health experts have warned that after the government stopped imposing challans people for not wearing masks and fully open schools the cases are anyway rising and may continue to rise.  

"The opening of schools and markets and abolishment of mask practice had boomerang effect on the rise of mutant strains in the community. The high transmission of omicron XE and BA2 strain could be attributable to spike in cases. The need of the hour is to continue with mask practices, avoid crowded places, maintain social distancing, and penetration of Covid vaccination to micro levels and extension to children going to schools," said Dr Avi Kumar - Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.  

"Though the symptoms of the cases remain mild, but the vulnerable patients with comorbidities need to be careful and avoid crowded places," he said. Registering a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases, Delhi's positivity rate increased to 2.7 per cent, with 137 cases on Monday-- the highest in two months. Since then, the city has been witnessing a continuous rise in daily coronavirus cases.  

Public health experts claim that there is a general perception that covid-19 is over and it will not have the same impact it had during the second wave.  "Covid was never over. Only cases of omicron were down. The virus is not known to have mutated. Opening of schools have contributed to the increase. It is just that people are mingling with each other too much without observing precautions. Even after two years, people need the fear of fine for them to mask up," said Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

"We need to spend more effort educating the people when masking is essential, what type of mask should be used, where masking may not be needed.  It's an issue of behavioural change, which is not easy in unwilling people," he said.

Meanwhile, India's tally of daily COVID-19 cases nearly doubled on Monday from the previous day to more than 2,000 for the first time in a month, government data showed, and the southern state of Kerala reported a big jump in deaths.

Delhi had last week tightened COVID precautions for schools and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, again made masks compulsory in public places in some districts.

Authorities reported 2,183 new infections on Monday, taking the running total to more than 43 million, according to health ministry data.

Also read: COVID spike: UP mandates masks in public places in these 7 districts; details here

Also read: Second Global COVID-19 Summit to be held on May 12