08/04/2020 1:50 PM IST | Updated 08/04/2020 6:32 PM IST

9 New Covid-19 Patients In Kerala, Pinarayi Says No Threat Of Community Transmission

The number of new cases in the state and people under surveillance have begun to decline.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

New cases of the novel coronavirus have begun to decline in Kerala in what local media is calling the beginning of the curve flattening in the state.

Kerala reported nine new cases of Covid-19 in the state on Wednesday, in line with the decline seen over the last five days.

The state reported 9 new patients on April 3, 11 on April 4, 8 on April 5, 13 on April 6 and 9 on April 7.

The number of people under surveillance in the state has also declined by over 30,000 between April 3-8.

There is no threat of community transmission based on information so far, state CM Pinarayi Vijayan toldRepublic TV on Wednesday.

“The situation in Kerala is comforting, we have been able to effectively control the virus spread to a large extent. But the global situation is worrying,” state CM Pinarayi Vijayan had said earlier this week.

Twenty-four NRIs from the state have died with the disease, Manorama reported.

“We are moving towards conducting mass testing as prescribed by WHO to ascertain the spread of the virus. 80% of the positive cases that have been reported (in the state) are those who have international travel history. Remaining are those who have maintained close contact with such people, including family members,” Pinarayi told Republic TV.

As the end of the national lockdown draws near, the Kerala government-appointed task force has pitched for a “phased” and “calibrated” lifting of the lockdown, saying “time is not yet ripe” for its full withdrawal on April 14.

The committee has said this is to ensure that the case load is always kept below the capacity of the healthcare system to deal with it.

Pinarayi Considers Phased Lockdown Relaxation

Pinarayi said on Tuesday that Kerala would plan its future course of action after the Centre decided on its plan for the post lockdown period.

The task force has mooted three-phased criteria for the relaxation of lockdown in affected districts. It has suggested that the unit for operationalising a phased withdrawal approach should be a district as it had defined boundaries and an executive magistrate who had the authority to effectively enforce the measures of the phased lock down.

In Phase 1, no person shall travel outside the house without wearing face masks and no gathering of more than five persons for any purpose should be permitted.

No religious congregations will be permitted and all places of worship shall remain closed and attendance at marriages and funerals will be restricted to 10 persons.

Cordoning off the entire panchayat or wards and enforcing complete restriction of travel outside were recommended in infection hotspot areas.

Deploying of additional police force in the hotspot boundary is necessary to ensure the strict enforcement of the lockdown and essential commodities and food from community kitchen are delivered through the Voluntary Task Force, the report said.

Flattening The Curve

The task force’s report has said that phased withdrawal of the lockdown would be sustainable only if there was a steady recovery and decline in the number of cases leading to initial flattening of the infection curve and then gradual tapering of the curve to zero infection cases.

In the event of resurgence in infections, the government must prepare to undergo the rigours of a complete lockdown once again, the report said.

As different states are expected to pass through the peak infection at different timings, it will be useful and important to establish a national co-ordination mechanism so that they could support one another with experience, expertise, equipment and finances, the report suggested.

Kerala Pays Tribute To Sacrifices Of Its Nurses

On World Health Day, Pinarayi Vijayan remembered “martyr” Lini Puthussery, the nurse who died after contracting Nipah virus from a patient in 2018.

“Malayalee nurses in various parts of the world are facing difficulties and their concerns are disturbing us. In our battle against Nipah, Lini was a Martyr”, he said.

Vijayan also praised for nurses Reshma Mohandas, who recently recovered after contracting Covid-19 while taking care of two elderly patients, and Papa Henry, who was prepared to go to any district to take care of patients.

(With inputs from PTI)

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