Even as the spectre of the second ruthless wave of Coronavirus is behind us in most parts of the country, the state of Kerala has been continuing to defy the national trend consistently by contributing to a spike in the national Covid-19 tally and adding a sizable number of cases. The rise in new cases in the state in the last 2 days also pushed the total active cases upwards for the first time in the last two months, the Indian Express reported.
At a time when the whole country is reporting about 40000 fresh cases a day, the state of Kerala has been adding about 10k-11k fresh cases alone per day since the last month. With all other states registering a decline, the state of Kerala has also become the single largest contributor to the national tally since June 15. It is to be noted that this is not the first time when the Southern state is showing an opposite trend. In January this year as well, the state was contributing as many as 60 percent of Covid cases to the national tally on some days.
The densely populated state cumulatively has now become the second most affected state by the pandemic in the country as a total of 30 lakh people have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic last year with Maharashtra remaining the worst affected. Provided the state has one of the country’s best health infrastructure at the grassroot level, the number of casualties initially was taken as a sign of better pandemic management by the government. However, the number of deaths in the state is also climbing up with the state reporting 424 deaths per million than the country’s average of 311 deaths/million.
What is fuelling the rise in Kerala?
Partly better reporting of Covid-19 cases in the state is responsible for the high case load. Better reporting and tracking of Covid-19 patients in the state was brought to notice by sero-surveys in the state which pointed out that for every positive patient, about 5 related patients remain unreported. In contrast, the national serosurvey pointed out that in contrast to a single tracked positive case of Coronavirus, as many as 25 patients go unreported.
However, better testing and reporting does not completely explain the soaring positivity rate in the state, throwing up as many as 13 positive cases in a sample of 100. The vaccination progress in the state has also been phenomenal in comparison to other states with the state having vaccinated about 45 percent of its population with a single dose. The percentage of population which has been administered both the doses hovers at about 10 percent which is far better than any other state in the country.