When Covid-19 cases are reducing all over India, two states – Maharashtra and Kerala – continue to contribute to nearly 71% of the cases, according to the Union Health Ministry. This has been a cause of worry for the central government.
According to the Health Ministry’s data of the last one week, 80,536 cases were reported. Out of this, Maharashtra and Kerala combined for 56,932 cases. Kerala alone recorded 39,260 cases (49%). Questions have been raised repeatedly as to why these two states continue to record high number of cases when the rest of India is witnessing a decline in Covid-19 cases.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that it is possible that the two states may be having the undetected mutant strain of Coronavirus and an investigation is necessary.
“We will have to investigate whether any mutant strain of Coronavirus is under circulation which is resulting in suddenly increasing the daily infections,” Guleria told a leading news agency.
Guleria also said that Kerala did a good job of controlling the spread of the Covid-19 initially. However, he added that after the lockdown restrictions were eased, the situation began deteriorating in the state. He pointed out that Kerala’s demography is another possible reason why the virus infection is not gradually weakening. As Kerala has a large population of elderly people it is possible that they are more likely to test positive for Covid-19. “A large number of people in Kerala are elderly and suffer from comorbid conditions. This fact could also be impacting the emergency of Covid-19 in Kerala,” Guleria said.
Although the test has increased testing, the daily number of cases continue to be above 5,000 cases. On Tuesday, Kerala has reported 5,214 positive cases, 6,475 recoveries and 19 deaths. The state collected 69,844 samples in 24 hours and the Test Positivity Rate is at 7.47%.
Meanwhile, the cost of RT-PCR tests has increased from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,700, according to reports. Earlier RT-PCR tests used to cost Rs 2,750 but were reduced to Rs 1,500 in private labs. Reportedly, these labs approached the Kerala High Court saying the test cost was 'not practical'. The HC issued an order stating that the price of the test can be raised by Rs 200.