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Kerala Health Minister Warns: COVID-19 Cases to Go up in Coming Days

Although the total number of positive cases has crossed one lakh in the state, the number of active cases is 27,877. According to experts, coming days would be crucial for the state.
KK Shailaja

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has cautioned citizens of rising cases of coronavirus in coming days and possibility of more deaths in the state. While inaugurating the renovated facilities at the Kalamassery Medical College in Ernakulam on Thursday, the health minister said there is a possibility of shortage of ventilators if more elderly people get infected. 

On Friday, the total number of cases in the state crossed one lakh. As many as 2,988 people tested positive on Friday which took the total number to 1,02,254. Total number of deaths is, however, 410 with a date rate of 0.4. 

“We have managed to keep the death toll below 500 so far. Experts have said that under different circumstances, we might have seen close to 10,000 deaths, but we managed to avert that. But now, with the Unlock process initiated across the country, we will see more deaths. We have to be very careful," Shailaja said.

Although the total number of positive cases has crossed one lakh, the number of active cases is 27,877 and 73,904 have recovered. According to experts, the coming days would be crucial for the state. The total number of cases had crossed 50,000 on August 19 since the first cases had been reported on January 30. But within less than a month, the number of cases has doubled. 

In the first phase of the spread of COVID-19, three cases had been reported from the state. But, in the second phase, when people came back to the state from COVID-19 affected areas, the number of cases was 496. On May 3, only 95 patients were under treatment and 401 had recovered. However, on May 4, the border check posts had been opened and people from other states started returning.   Since then, the number of cases have been rising. 

Following this, clusters had been formed in various parts of the state, said KK Shailaja, in a Facebook post. Room quarantine strategy was adopted and it has been effectively implemented in the state. Kerala is the only state which offers the services of doctors and health workers to people who are under room quarantine, the health minister added. 

Later, Covid First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs) were formed. As per the latest figures, the state has 41,391 beds at 322 centres including COVID- 19 special hospitals, government hospitals, CFLTCs, and private hospitals, across the state. Of the 41,391 beds, 21,318 beds were lying vacant as of Friday. 

Of total 871 ICU beds designated for COVID-19 patients in government hospitals, 624 are vacant. Of 532 ventilators, 519 are vacant, while in private hospitals, 6,030 ICU beds out of the total 6,079 are vacant with 1,568 ventilators available. 

Apart from this, about 800 CFLTCs with around 50,000 beds are being readied, the health minister added.

However, she cautioned, "There will be a shortage of ventilators. The pandemic has created a crisis of ventilators everywhere in the world. Even after booking through KMSCL, we are waiting for the orders to be delivered. We are only getting 10 or 20 at a time.”

Also read: Six Months of Pandemic: Why India Lost the Battle

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