Between June 27 and July 3, Kerala on an average reported 11,942 cases per day. It was 11,463, a week earlier. Public health experts said that the next two weeks remain crucial and if the present trend continues, then Kerala may move from the extended plateau stage to a rapid rise in cases. This is mainly because the state’s TPR remains above 10% along with an increase in new cases. Since lockdown relaxations on June 16, on an average, about 20-21% new Covid cases are reported from Kerala. Last week, between June 27 and July 3, Kerala’s seven-day average TPR was the highest in the country at 10.2%. This happened even after there was a slight increase in testing during the week, with an average 1,16,834 tests per day when compared to 1,09,482 tests per day in the previous week.
“After two months of negative growth, Kerala is now seeing an increase in Covid cases. This week cases have increased by 4%. This is partly due to an increase in tests 7,000 more tests per day were conducted during June 27 and July 3, when compared to the previous week. But despite increased testing, TPR has not decreased much and is still above 10%, indicating high disease burden in the community,” said rheumatologist and immunologist Dr Shenoy Padmanabha, who has been analysing Covid patterns across India.
Kerala that saw a peak in cases in May first week with an average of 37,144 new cases per day, entered a plateau phase in the first week of June when 14,035 new cases per day were reported. Since then, there was only a slight decline in cases and new cases remained below 11,500 per day. However, last week, it jumped again. This, experts said, is probably because of the flattening of the curve and higher proportion of people vulnerable to infection in the state.
“This indicates that due to continued lockdown and containment measures, Kerala may have reached a plateau phase, but lower down in the community the measures to prevent the spread of the infection are inadequate. Now, most of the spread is through unofficial gatherings family functions, meeting between friends and family members. Local bodies need to sensitize people about this,”said Dr Jayakrishnan A V, chairman, Indian Medical Association’s committee for vaccination promotion and coordination.