The latest Kerala health department reports indicate that the state’s daily Covid cases could cross 9,000 by the mid of this month. It is especially concerning, as the number of cases has not only been on a steady rising pattern, the state is the worst performer at the national level. Moreover, almost 500 people have died from Covid in the last 20 days.
Dr Rajan N Khobragade — Principal Secretary to Health Minister KK Shylaja — has noted in the report that the clusters formed after the local body elections, the subsequent Christmas and New Year celebrations, and opening of schools may add to the situation. The report also indicates that the number of people under treatment might hit 90,000 as daily Covid cases are likely to reach 9,000 by the January 15. This is especially concerning as Kerala’s Test Positivity Rate is five times higher than the national average.
Ahead of the much-prophesied second wave, Kerala will conduct a Covid density study to assess the antibody presence in people, especially those in the frontlines.
For the purpose, the department would collect at least 350 samples from every village, and the plan is to check about 12,100 people above the age of 18. The state would also check frontline workers, healthcare workers, police, and other emergency staff. The government also plans to collect over 5,000 samples from labs and blood banks. The overall purpose of the study is to understand how many people have developed immunity against the coronavirus.
Earlier, a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research on silent transmission had revealed a low number of antibody counts. However, further study was warranted after the Test Positivity Rate increased among frontline workers. According to official data from the first week of November, among 100 healthcare workers, 20 tested positive for Covid-19. Among the asymptomatic carriers, it was 10.5, patients checked before surgery recorded 3.2, and direct tests resulted in 8.3.