A single day spike of 46,387 new COVID cases on Thursday (January 20) has prompted the Kerala government to impose lockdown-like restrictions in the state for the next two Sundays. Essential services will not be hampered though.
Of the 46,387 new cases reported on Thursday, 29,926 had been fully vaccinated and 2,162 had the first dose. Before this, Kerala had hit the highest case count in May last year with 43,529 cases.
Kerala’s test positivity rate (TPR) is at a staggering 40.2 per cent, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. State capital Thiruvananthapuram is the worst hit with 9,720 new cases in a day and a test positivity rate of 46.68 per cent. Ernakulam has a TRP of 45.6 per cent while in Kozhikode it is 42 per cent.
A CNN-News18 analysis shows that active COVID-19 cases in the southern state have gone up by 10 times since January 1 while daily infections were up by over 19 times during the same period.
One of the reasons for spike in cases could be higher testing. So, while several states like Delhi and Uttar Pradesh cut down on testing, Kerala doubled the daily testing between January 1 and 20. Kerala conducted 48,658 tests on January 1 while the number gradually went up to 1.15 lakh on January 20. On the other hand, Delhi conducted 74,622 tests on January 1 and 57,776 on January 19, and 57,290 on January 20.
Also read: Disease-causing microbes are killing people and antibiotics aren’t helping
The number of COVID deaths too has been on the rise since the beginning of the New Year, but the numbers don’t necessarily reflect the everyday count with several backlogs and pending appeals swelling the number occasionally. For instance, Kerala reported 3,466 deaths on January 1, but most of the casualties had actually happened in the preceding days. On Thursday (January 20), 32 deaths were recorded with 309 added from the previous days. The state’s total death number has reached 51,501.
Kerala has the highest rate of vaccination per million. As of January 20, 2022, almost 100% of the eligible population, which is roughly 2.67 crore, has got a single dose while 83% has been fully vaccinated. About 60% (9.12 lakh) of the population in the 15-17 age group has received at least one shot of the COVID vaccine.