Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday (June 25) suggested the idea of keeping a ‘break the chain diary’ to make contact-tracing quick and easy.
Those who travel could keep a record of the places they go to and the people they meet, either in their phones or in a notebook, including the registration number of the vehicles they boarded, the names and locations of restaurants and hotels visited, with the time and date.
The Chief Minister, in his daily COVID-19 briefing, told the media that so far, Kerala has successfully minimised contact spread as much as possible. The spread due to contact is only from 7% of the returnees who had tested positive.
“We managed to ensure that 93% of the returnees were not spreading the virus,” Vijayan said, indicating that it was a sign of the successful implementation of the home quarantine.
So far, the state has only a few cases whose origin of spread could not be traced.
“However, the people of Kerala should continue this vigil and implement all the measures, including breaking the chain and social distancing,” he added.
The number of positive cases recorded on Thursday is 123, among which 84 are returnees from abroad and 33 from other states. Only six positive cases through contact were reported.
The Chief Minister also announced that the state would begin antibody tests at airports.
However, testing negative in the antibody test does not necessarily indicate that the person does not carry the virus, since the antibody would be formed in the body only after a few days of infection. “Hence, people should not fall into a false sense of security if the antibody test shows negative,” he said.
Around 40 to 50 flights are expected per day from June 26. The government has strengthened security measures at airports.
Considering the spike in the number of cases, the state has made arrangements under Plans A, B, and C.
Under Plan A, there are 29 COVID hospitals across 14 districts with 8,537 beds, 872 ICU beds and 482 ventilators. Adjacent to these hospitals, 29 first-line treatment centres also are functional with a capacity of 3,180 beds. So far, only 479 beds are occupied.
Under Plans B and C, there are 171 first-line treatment centres with a capacity of 15,975 beds.
The mortality rate is only 0.6% in the state, and the national average is 3.1%. The positivity rate of Kerala is 1.8%, of which the national average is 6.2%. In the global scenario, countries are aiming to maintain the positivity rate below 2%.
Kerala is the only state that successfully conducted all the SSLC and Higher Secondary examinations. The evaluation is done and the results of the SSLC examination would be announced on June 30. The results of the Higher Secondary examinations would be announced before July 10.
The Chief Minister has also announced that Kerala is starting a debate series on new concepts and development models called ‘Kerala Dialogue’ from June 26.
Amartya Sen, Noam Chomsky, and Saumya Swaminathan would speak in the first session titled ‘Kerala: Future paths of development’.