Kerala’s remarkable success in containing the novel coronavirus outbreak in the state has been reflected not just in how it flattened the curve, but also in the state’s death toll which remained in single digit for months.
However, an influx of non-residents returning to their homes in the state has lifted its curve once again.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the state had confirmed 91 new cases and one death on Monday, taking the total fatalities to 16. (Manorama had put the death toll at 18, while Mathrubhumi reported 17.)
Kerala was the first to report a COVID-19 case in India on January 30. Till May 21, the state’s death toll remained at three. On May 31, it had increased to nine.
But since June began, the number of cases and fatalities in Kerala have increased at a worrying pace as authorities work to avoid community transmission and urge people to follow hygiene and social distancing norms.
“Kerala can handle the rising number of cases, if we prevent the community spread of the virus. Cooperation of the people and strict adherence to government guidelines are crucial in this endeavour,” state health minister K.K. Shailaja told reporters on Monday.
A rapid increase
On May 8, Kerala’s curve had dipped to just 16 active cases in the entire state.
Exactly one month later, on June 7, Kerala had over 1,000 patients under treatment, having reported over a hundred COVID-19 cases for three consecutive days.
Of the 1,186 active cases currently in the state, 645 were reported in just the last one week (excluding Monday’s figures).
In the same week, the state also reported six patient deaths.
Palakkad, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargod are the districts with the highest number of patients currently with 164, 155, 120 and 117 respectively, as of Monday evening.
At least 1,97,078 people are under observation across the state, of which, 1,771 are in isolation wards of various hospitals, the state’s health department said.
On Monday, the department added six more regions in the category of hotspots taking the total number to 150.