Health experts believe that the rise in COVID-19 cases in Kerala may lead to a third COVID-19 wave across the country. The state has reported over 20,000 daily infections for the past few days even as other states are reporting much lesser numbers.
Weekly average of new COVID-19 cases in Kerala and reproduction value, which is an indication of how contagious the virus will be, is much higher than the national average. 10 districts in Kerala- Malappuram, Kasargod, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Alappuzha have seen an increasing trend in daily new cases during the last four weeks, as per the Union Health Ministry.
"The surge indicates that it may be the beginning of the third wave and we need to be careful now. We have a largely susceptible population and the government needs to come up with a long-term strategy to deal with new COVID waves," public health expert and epidemiologist Dr. Raman Kutty told Times of India.
This surge in COVID-19 cases has taken place as Kerala has reported the lowest seropositivity rate (44 per cent) in the latest ICMR serosurvey. Seropositivity indicates the presence of antibodies in blood serum. Meanwhile, the Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association has written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offering suggestions for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
"Vaccination is the best tool in containing the pandemic, so emphasis to be given on vaccination and to request Union Government to provide more stock of vaccines to the state and providing both online and offline facilities for vaccine registration should be given to people, to vaccinate maximum people in the shortest possible time," the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association's statement read.
Besides this, the association also said restrictions should be imposed in specific micro-containment zones depending on COVID-19 cases, testing and tracing needs to be ramped up and health officials should be given more authority to implement COVID safety protocols. They, however, said markets including restaurants and hotels should be opened with proper physical distancing and other COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Kerala reported 23,676 new COVID-19 cases and 148 deaths as of August 3 (Tuesday). 15,626 people have recovered from the contagion in the last 24 hours and the state currently has a positivity rate of 11.87 per cent.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal
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