Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters on Saturday (July 18) that the rate of community transmission was over 50% inside COVID-19 clusters in the state.
“Today, there are 84 clusters in Kerala. Inside the clusters, local transmission is more than 50 per cent, but outside the clusters it is below 10 per cent. We should prevent cluster forming and community spread of infection,” Shailaja said, according to ANI.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday (July 17) had confirmed community transmission in two coastal hamlets Poonthura and Pulluvila in Thiruvananthapuram where 150 cases each were reported. He had further said a total lockdown would be imposed in these areas from Saturday to curb community transmission from reaching new areas.
“The situation in some places in the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram district is serious as COVID-19 is spreading at a very fast rate. Large number of cases in these areas are an indication of the infection spread. We can say there is a community spread in these places. The government is taking steps to coordinate all the efforts to face this serious situation,” Vijayan said at a press conference.
Shailaja said the government was focussing on the affected coastal areas to break the chain of local transmission. “We are trying to break the chain of transmission from one cluster to another. We are thoroughly locking the clusters. We need to give more attention to coastal areas,” she said.
Though the state initially seemed to get the situation under control and had only 100 active cases during the first week of May, a large number of people returning home from abroad and other states has led to a spike in cases.
Kerala reported the higest single-day spike so far with 593 cases recorded on Saturday, taking the tally to 11,660 with number of deaths at 41.
District-wise figures of the positive cases are: 173 persons from Thiruvananthapuram, 53 in Kollam, 49 from Palakkad, 44 in Ernakulam, 42 from Alappuzha, 39 in Kannur, 29 from Kasaragod, and 28 each in Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts. Kozhikode and Wayanad districts recorded 26 each, Thrissur 21, Malappuram 19, and Kottayam 16.