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Central Teams Recommend Tracing, Containment, Augmented Healthcare Facilities To Overcome Kerala COVID-19 Crisis

The target of the Central team was to specifically look at areas of testing, contact tracing including surveillance and containment, COVID appropriate behaviours, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances and hospital-wise case fatality analysis and COVID -19 vaccination progress in Kerala

Central Teams Recommend Tracing, Containment, Augmented Healthcare Facilities To Overcome Kerala COVID-19 Crisis
Highlights
  • The central team recommended RAT testing at an expanded level in Kerala
  • About 44% of the population in Kerala has COVID antibodies: Sero-survey
  • Kerala's 14 districts are reporting over 20,000 COVID-19 cases per day

New Delhi: 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 needs to be augmented on an urgent basis. Paediatric Care facilities especially paediatric ICU beds also need to be augmented,” they pointed out. The ANI has accessed a draft report of the Central multi-disciplinary team that reached Kerala on July 30, 2021.

Also Read: Ramp Up COVID Vaccination, Complete Sero-survey, Central Health Team Asks Kerala Government

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.

The Central teams visited Kerala as the state continued to grapple with increasing COVID-19 cases. The state continues to report the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country and has registered 13,325 COVID-19 related deaths so far. The target of the Central team was to specifically look at areas of testing, contact tracing including surveillance and containment, COVID appropriate behaviours, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances and hospital-wise case fatality analysis and COVID -19 vaccination progress.

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.”

Also Read: COVID-19 In India: The Rise In R-Value Is A Cause Of Concern, Says Dr Randeep Guleria, AIIMS

It was indicated by State officials that due to effective home isolation and containment strategies followed after first wave of CoVID-19, the population remained largely unexposed. This is also suggested by a recently conducted sero-surveillance study by ICMR. In it, Kerala ranked last with only about 44 per cent of the population showing antibodies against CoVID-19, said the report.

According to the report, in Kollam, the Positivity rate is relatively lower in coastal and tribal areas but the bed occupancy rate in the district is quite high with nearly 80 per cent of O2 beds occupied (in government setup). Samples sent for whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was lowest in Kollam among all districts of the State. However, in Thiruvananthapuram as per the report and data shared by the State, as of July 30 with the central team, the number of cases/deaths reported was 331147 and 3229 deaths. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of the district was highest at 0.98 per cent. In the Malappuram District, the report stated, “case detection is mainly through testing of those reporting to health facilities with Covid like illness. There is no active surveillance to detect cases.”

Also Read: Kerala Accounts For Nearly 50 Per Cent Of The Fresh COVID-19 Cases Reported In India, Is It A Matter Of Concern?

The contact tracing is abysmally low with a case contact ratio of 1:1.5. This is more so important as the average family size in this district is above 5, implying even the primary contacts are being missed out. This lack of contact tracing results in an undetected pool of asymptomatic/ mildly symptomatic individuals in the community, the report stated.

In Kozhikode District, as per the report, the case detection is mainly through testing of those reporting to health facilities with Covid like illness.

There is no active surveillance to detect cases. The contact tracing is abysmally low with a case contact ratio of 1:1.2. The lack of contact tracing results in an undetected pool of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals in the community, the report said.

Among those who tested positive, over 85 per cent are in home isolation. In the Kannur district, there are 5998 active cases. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is 13.72 per cent (for the week ending 31st July 2021). The case detection is mainly through testing of those reporting to health facilities with Covid like illness. There is no active surveillance to detect cases.

Also Read: Kerala Government Announces Rs. 20,000 Crore COVID Package, Rs. 1,500 Crore For Free Vaccination

The team was divided into Team – 1 for Southern districts of Kerala and Team – 2 for Northern Districts. While Team 1 visited Alappuzha, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala, Team 2 visited Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasargod districts of the state. The Central teams included the following experts, Dr Sujeet Singh, Director, NCDC, Dr P Ravindran, Former DDG, Dr S. K. Jain, Advisor (PH), NCDC, Dr K. Regu, Addl. Director, Kozhikode Branch, NCDC, Dr Pranay Verma, Joint Director, NCDC, and Dr Ruchi Jain, Public Health Specialist. Kerala on Tuesday recorded 23,676 new COVID-19 cases and 148 deaths.

Also Read: India’s Battle Against COVID-19: How Is The Country Preparing For The Third Wave Of Coronavirus? Experts Explain

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,06,78,961Cases
20,23,40,977Active
3,34,39,331Recovered
48,98,653Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,06,78,961 and 48,98,653 have died; 20,23,40,977 are active cases and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 4:17 am.

India

3,40,81,315 13,596Cases
1,89,6946,152Active
3,34,39,331 19,582Recovered
4,52,290 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,81,315 confirmed cases including 4,52,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,89,694 and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,91,697 1,715

32,230 994

64,19,678 2,680

1,39,789 29

Kerala

48,54,321 7,555

88,186 3,292

47,39,270 10,773

26,865 74

Karnataka

29,83,459 326

9,479 58

29,36,039 380

37,941 4

Tamil Nadu

26,87,092 1,218

14,814 208

26,36,379 1,411

35,899 15

Andhra Pradesh

20,60,472 432

6,034 159

20,40,131 586

14,307 5

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,028 9

119 10

16,87,011 19

22,898

West Bengal

15,80,530 624

7,421 24

15,54,132 634

18,977 14

Delhi

14,39,390 32

320 6

14,13,981 38

25,089

Odisha

10,35,077 443

4,542 68

10,22,250 508

8,285 3

Chhattisgarh

10,05,654 16

183 2

9,91,901 14

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,390 2

42 2

9,45,394 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,290 10

207 6

8,15,997 16

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,684 5

84 12

7,82,077 17

10,523

Haryana

7,71,076 15

123 9

7,60,904 6

10,049

Bihar

7,26,026 5

48 4

7,16,317 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,955 122

3,924 55

6,61,093 176

3,938 1

Assam

6,06,468 205

3,436 46

5,97,082 245

5,950 6

Punjab

6,02,035 27

227 8

5,85,264 16

16,544 3

Jharkhand

3,48,430 7

122 1

3,43,173 8

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,756 9

178 1

3,36,181 8

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,062 95

843 12

3,25,793 107

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,437 131

1,303 5

2,16,414 125

3,720 1

Goa

1,77,522 60

604 6

1,73,572 62

3,346 4

Puducherry

1,27,396 52

585 13

1,24,961 64

1,850 1

Manipur

1,22,737 104

1,422 0

1,19,418 102

1,897 2

Mizoram

1,12,848 249

11,633 1,143

1,00,829 1,389

386 3

Tripura

84,321 16

104 4

83,401 12

816

Meghalaya

82,953 55

845 32

80,673 86

1,435 1

Chandigarh

65,302 3

25 3

64,457 6

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,987 7

140 30

54,567 37

280

Sikkim

31,749 4

174 8

31,184 12

391

Nagaland

31,611 40

248 12

30,689 28

674

Ladakh

20,878 2

36 10

20,634 12

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676 1

4 1

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641

9 0

7,503

129

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