Officials in the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday (July 27) that the Kerala government was not focusing enough on containing COVID, as a result of which up to 50 per cent of the new cases are being reported from that state and Maharashtra.
Kerala on Tuesday (July 27) reported 22,129 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise in infections in the state since May 29. The death toll for Tuesday was 156.
The number of active cases in Kerala jumped to 1,45,371. In 24 hours, 1,79,130 samples were tested, and the test positivity rate (TPR) was found to be 12.35 per cent government figures said. Over the last two weekends, Kerala has tested around 3 lakh people.
Malappuram district remains worst affected with a fresh case tally of 4,037, followed by 2,623 in Thrissur, 2,397 in Kozhikode, 2,352 in Ernakulam and 2,115 in Palakkad.
“Kerala is not focusing enough on containment…They are focused more on the mitigation process of treating cases than containment,” NDTV quoted a health ministry source.
“Around half of new cases are coming from Kerala and Maharashtra. The death figures are low because their health infrastructure is good,” the source said.
Kerala has been reporting a high number of infections for many weeks even as the overall numbers are falling rapidly since the second wave peaked across the country.
The state government had to stop the inoculation drive as many of its districts, including capital Thiruvananthapuram, have run out of doses, state Health Minister Veena George said on July 27.
An increasing ‘R’ value, or COVID reproduction rate, in Kerala had earlier this month triggered concerns of a renewed wave, which could even fuel a national spike.
On July 10, George had told NDTV that the continuing reports of a large number of infections was part of the state’s strategy in fighting the pandemic and assured that this was no cause for alarm.
Overall, infections have peaked, she said, adding a similar trend was seen in the first wave, too. She had termed the phenomenon “dragging of the wave”.
George, who recently replaced the much-lauded KK Shailaja as the state Health Minister, countered suspicions of slippage in caution. Despite a high share of susceptible persons in the state’s population, around 20 per cent of them may have been infected till July 10, she said.