Centre flags high TPR in State as a matter of concern

Calls for ramping up testing and vaccination and enforcing COVID-appropriate behaviour to control spread of disease

Expressing grave concern over the consistently high COVID-19 test positivity rate in Kerala, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has called for strict containment and other measures to bring the pandemic situation under control.

In a letter to Chief Secretary V.P.Joy, he noted that all the districts in Kerala had reported more than 200 daily cases in the week ending July 4 and two of the 14 districts had shown an increase in new cases over the past four weeks. The letter stressed the need to ramp up testing and vaccination, ensure clinical management and availability of oxygen-supported and ICU beds and enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour to control the spread of infection in the community.

Citing an analysis which flagged critical areas of concern, Mr.Bhushan said Kollam and Wayanad districts had shown an increase in the number of weekly deaths over the last four weeks while Thrissur and Malappuram had reported more than 70 deaths in the week ending July 4 and Thiruvananthapuram had registered 111 deaths in the same period. Seven districts, namely Kannur, Kasaragod, Kollam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad and Thrissur, had more than 100 new cases in the previous week with weekly positivity rate of more than 10%.

He urged the State to strengthen efforts for contact tracing and isolation/quarantine of suspected and confirmed cases and called for a microanalysis of high TPR areas. The State should aim at maintaining a positivity rate of below 5% in each district by increasing the number of tests.

The letter underlined the need for the State to ensure timely disclosure of the availability of healthcare infrastructure on public portals or through the media. It also called for closer monitoring of COVID fatalities including deaths reported between 24, 48 and 72 hours of hospitalisation and deployment of strategic vaccination centres near containment zones.

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