According to the State Health Department’s report, the Covid-19 cases in Kerala districts, Wayanad, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta are rising even when the State is gearing up to distribute Covid vaccine within ten days. The Health department’s report highlights that nearly 900 people who died out of coronavirus belonged to below-60 years.
Last year when the outbreak began, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts did not report high numbers when compared to other districts. However, last week in Wayanad, 12.3 per cent was the highest test positivity rate reported in the state. Ernakulam reported 10.6 per cent and Pathanamthitta marked 11.6 per TPR respectively. With this, there is a growing concern over the spike in Covid-19 cases in all these districts.
For the first phase of vaccine distribution, Kerala is giving more priority to Covishield vaccine, but the final choice rests with the Union Health Ministry. However, as a major development, the committee constituted by the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation has suggested a restricted use of Covishield produced by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by ICMR-Bharat Biotech, even for emergency use.
Earlier, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has confirmed that six cases of the new mutant were reported in the state, adding that there is no need for panic. She said, “Though Kerala is on high alert, there is no cause for concern. Out of the six infected people, two are hospitalised and the rest were at home. A complete contact list has been prepared.” Recently, 41 Covid infected people have reached Kerala from Britain. However, further steps will be initiated based on the test results receiving from the Virology Lab in Pune.
Meanwhile, Kerala Minister AK Balan has tested positive for Covid and was admitted for physical discomfort. Currently, he is undergoing treatment at Palakkad district hospital. Earlier, ministers EP Jayarajan, VS Sunil Kumar, MM Mani and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala had also tested positive for the infection.
The Kerala Health Department has instructed to exclude the Covid containment zones from the upcoming polio distribution programme on January 17. According to the plan, once after the restrictions in these zones end, polio will be distributed to every child, including those in home quarantine after the isolation period ends.
On the other hand, according to data provided by the Union Health Ministry, India’s Covid cases reached 10,374,932 with 18,088 infections being reported in a day. In 24 hours, the death toll spiked to 150,114 with 264 people died of the disease. According to reports, in a joint study conducted by CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCM), Hyderabad and CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology found that coronavirus can spread through air for a while, but proper preventive measures can keep one safe from contracting the virus.