COVID-19 cases spiked due to unlock measures: Kerala Health Minister
With Kerala witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases, the state's Health Minister Veena George said on Friday that the numbers went up due to certain relaxations in the restrictions and were expected to go down. Notably, PM Narendra Modi on Thursday voiced concern about the persistently high number of coronavirus cases being recorded in Maharashtra and Kerala. Here are more details.
Preventive measures ensured people received proper medical care: George
George said that preventive mechanisms like enforcing lockdowns, earmarking containment zones, and aggressive testing and tracing by the state government ensured that a large number of people susceptible to the virus were able to receive proper medical care.
Vaccination the only way to contain virus spread: George
The Health Minister said, "The government's endeavor is to ensure that the number of infected persons never goes above the medical capacity of the state so that no one dies due to non-availability of beds or oxygen." She asserted vaccination was the only way to contain the spread of the virus. Notably, Kerala's test positivity rate (TPR) stands at a high average of 10%.
Central government team was satisfied by our efforts: George
Asked about the concerns raised by the Prime Minister, George said, "The central government team which came to Kerala to inspect the steps taken here was satisfied by the efforts made." She further said that according to medical experts a plateauing of the number of cases was an expected stage in any pandemic.
Kerala recorded over 13k fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday
On Thursday, Kerala recorded 13,772 new COVID-19 cases and 142 deaths, pushing the virus caseload to 30,25,466 and related fatalities to 14,250. George attributed the increase in cases to the unlock phase as people came out in large numbers.
Steps would be taken to ensure people follow COVID-19 protocols
Regarding overcrowding at certain places, like liquor vends, which had been highlighted by Kerala High Court, George said the matter would be addressed with the help of the police. She said, "The Health Department with the help of the police would be taking steps to ensure people follow COVID-19 protocols like social distancing and wearing of masks when they step out of their homes."
Other steps taken by the government to control virus spread
George said the other steps taken by the state to control the spread of the infection include "focused and targeted" testing and tracing, 10 times more testing in areas with a high test positivity rate, and enforcing triple lockdown in places where numbers are high.