New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The COVID situation in the southern state of Kerala continued to worry the health authorities with the state reporting more than 23,000 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours. The steady rise in Kerala's COVID cases has alarmed the authorities with the Centre sending a 6-member team to assess the situation there.

According to the health bulletin of the state, 23,676 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the state in the last 24 hours, while 148 people succumbed to the deadly pathogen taking the total deaths in Kerala to 17,103. With the rise in new COVID cases from last week, the active caseload in the state now stands at 1,73,221 which is the highest active caseload among states in the country.

Meanwhile, 15,626 people recovered in the 24 hours period, taking the cumulative recoveries to 32,58,310. As many as 1,99,456 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and a positivity rate of 11.87 per cent was recorded. According to the Union Health Ministry, Kerala is among eight states Reproduction (R) number is high in eight states and 10 districts of the state is witnessing an increasing trend in cases.

Central Health Team asks Kerala Govt to ramp up vaccination:

The Central multi-disciplinary teams that recently visited Kerala to review the COVID-19 situation in the state emphasised the need for enhancing testing, contact tracing, enforcing containment measures and establishment of adequate healthcare infrastructure to overcome the crisis.

"Proper hospital infrastructure like ICU and ventilator beds need to be augmented on an urgent basis. Paediatric Care facilities especially paediatric ICU beds also need to be augmented," they pointed out.

"Kerala's 14 districts are presently reporting more than 20,000 cases per day and according to May' 2021 data, over 80 per cent of circulating strains are Delta variant," the report stated. It has also been recommended that clusters and super events, whenever suspected or reported should be investigated by District level RRT.

They also recommended that "RAT testing at an expanded level should be implemented to ensure saturation testing and reduce lag in the report, the re-categorisation exercise should ideally be undertaken every 14 days, vaccination, the system of whole house isolation to break the chain."

Centre worried about the grim COVID situation in Kerala:

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is concerned about the surge in the number of covid cases in the state. It is also worried that more than half the population is vulnerable to viruses. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has also written to the state govt on super spreader events observed in Kerela in the recent past.

Earlier, the Centre had advised that states should conduct State-specific Sero Surveys in consultation with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to generate district-level data on seroprevalence. The findings would guide the formulation of localised public health responses for COVID-19 management. Kerala is observing a complete lockdown at the weekends and five days of normal functioning.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan