The South Indian state of Kerala has reported 10k cases of the novel coronavirus, for the first time since the pandemic started, state health department data showed.
As per the data from the Kerala department of health, more than 10k cases were recorded in the state in the last 24-hours, with 22 deaths, and over 6k recovered. With this, Kerala became the 4th state to cross the 10k threshold.
The recent public gatherings in the state, including the Oman festive celebrations, is being blamed for the uptick in the number of new infections, India Times reported.
Kerala also had the highest number of COVID-19 cases per million in India and is gradually on the way to become one of India’s most-affected states if not controlled or managed.
Health experts worry about the state’s ability to handle future upsurge in cases. The absence of adequate and trained manpower threatens of a grim situation once caseloads rise.
One of the main causes of hospitalizations after COVID-19 is a sudden drop in oxygen level. While the state has ventilators and ICUs ready for use, lack of trained manpower is a concern.
The Kerala government has predicted caseload in the state will reach 15k cases a day in mid-November. A number of the state’s Ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet has tested positive for the virus, including75-years-old power minister MM Mani.
In the wake of the rising number of cases in the state, Kerala has imposed Section 144 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure until October 31st, which give the state power to criminalise public safety violation is this case.
More than five people cannot gather in front of banks, shops, restaurants, and other commercial outlets, and people have been advised to stay in homes as much as possible.
Kerala, when the pandemic began was hailed as a role model to the world in handling the pandemic, even earning the praise of WHO and other international communities.
Two cases were first recorded in Kerala in January, and the government efficiently traced and quarantined 3000 people who came in contact with the COVID-19 positive people who were students returning from Wuhan, the virus epicenter.
“The state government’s prompt response to COVID-19 can be attributed to its experience and investment made in emergency preparedness and outbreak response in the past during Kerala floods in 2018 and especially, the NIPAH outbreak in 2019,” WHO wrote in a July statement lauding Kerala’s approach to handling the pandemic.
But two months later, which is now, the picture is pretty alarming.