New Delhi: At a time when COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country have declined after the ravaging second wave of coronavirus, Kerala continues to contribute a majority of infections to India`s fresh daily count for the past few weeks.
India on Saturday recorded 2,618 new COVID-19 cases and 330 deaths in the last 24 hours, out of which Kerala accounted for nearly 70 percent of the new infections and a third of deaths. The surge in COVID-19 infections in the state comes a week after it celebrated its biggest festival, Onam.
Collectively, this week, India added more than 208,000 COVID-19 cases in a span of five days starting Monday. As the daily tally increases steadily, it has been noted that the COVID-19 R-value too has risen sharply. According to the researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, the R-value calculated between August 14-17 was 0.89 but between August 24-29 it stood at 1.17.
According to a PTI report, Sitabhra Sinha, who is leading the team of researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, said, “Up to August 30, the situation looked pretty bad. India’s R-value had shot up close to 1.2. Not only is it greater than one, it is much higher than the last time there was a scare of a third wave (it was 1.03 at that time)."
This week India recorded more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases every day, except Tuesday when the country saw a slight dip with 30,941 cases of new infections. The highest number of fresh coronavirus cases were recorded on Friday, when the country saw 47,092 new cases, while the highest number of fatalities were recorded on Thursday when 509 people succumbed to the virus.
Kerala CM rules out possibility of another complete lockdown
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday ruled out a complete lockdown in the state. Kerala CM stated that implementing complete lockdown now will create a huge crisis for the economy and livelihoods. "Nobody wants another state-wide lockdown because its implementation will adversely affect the economy and the livelihood of the people," the CM said.
"Neighbourhood committees, comprising government officials, volunteers, resident associations, would be set up for COVID-19 mitigation. Intervention should be made to reduce the spread in the state. The neighbourhood committees, rapid response team, ward-level committees, police and sectoral magistrates should implement the restrictions and control the spread," Vijayan said.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan said those who come in contact with a positive patient should be kept under observation and asked the local self government bodies, leaders, and officials to work together as they have done in the initial phase of the pandemic.
State government to take strict action against violators
Additionally, the Kerala government on Friday directed the local self-government bodies to ensure strict implementation of quarantine and isolation guidelines and warned of taking actions against the violators. The order comes in the backdrop of the state reporting 30,000 daily cases for the last two weeks.
“The quarantine and isolation norms stipulated therein shall be strictly enforced throughout the state by the implementing agencies," the state government order undersigned by Chief Secretary VP Joy read.
Kerala COVID-19 tally
Meanwhile, Kerala on Friday recorded 29,322 new cases and 131 deaths, taking the detah toll to 21,280, as per the state health department. The state`s cumulative caseload stands at 2,46,437 including 38,83,186 recoveries. According to the state health bulletin, 1,63,691 samples were tested in the last 24 hours with test positivity rate of 17.91 per cent.