COVID-19 cases in Kerala are spiking due to good detection, better reporting and early easing of restrictions

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COVID-19 cases in Kerala are spiking due to good detection, better reporting and early easing of restrictions
COVID-19 cases in IndiaBusiness Insider
  • Kerala is contributing more than 50% to the daily active COVID-19 toll registered in the country.
  • The reason for this, cited by health economist Rijo John, is that the state administration has been better in detecting, testing and reporting the COVID-19 cases than many other states.
  • Kerala has the lowest seroprevalence among Indian states i.e the population there is more likely to see infections.
Kerala is witnessing a steep rise in COVID-19 cases from June 15, 2021. India reported 41,831 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, out of which 20,624 cases were from Kerala, according to the data by the Health Ministry. The state is contributing more than 50% to the daily active COVID-19 toll registered in the country, as clearly indicated by the data.

The reason for this, cited by health economist Rijo John, is that the state administration has been better in detecting, testing and reporting the COVID-19 cases than many other states. A recent survey has also shown that more people are vulnerable to the infection than any other state in India.

COVID-19 cases in Kerala are spiking due to good detection, better reporting and early easing of restrictions

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Kerala has missed six cases of COVID-19 infections for every one recorded, according to one estimate. However, this is way better compared to the rest of the country. The national average is 33 cases missed for each confirmed one, according to a report on The Print.

State Estimated underreporting of cases for every recorded case of COVID-19
Uttar Pradesh100
Bihar134
Maharashtra12
Kerala6
National average33

People in Kerala are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections



The state stood at the bottom of the list with 44.4% seroprevalence while for India it is 67.6%.
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Sero prevalence survey uses antibody tests to estimate the percentage of people who have antibodies against COVID-19. A higher percentage in seroprevalence would mean lesser risk of a rise in infections. Kerala has the lowest seroprevalence among Indian states i.e the population there is more likely to see infections.

Madhya Pradesh leads the list with 79% in seroprevalence, followed by Rajasthan with 76.2%.

StatesSeroprevalence percentage (%)
Madhya Pradesh79%
Rajasthan76.2%
Bihar75.9%
Andhra Pradesh70%
Tamil Nadu66%
Kerala44.4%

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Around 33 lakh people in Kerala, which has a population of 3.5 crore, have so far been infected with COVID-19, the second highest in the country after Maharashtra.

However, the proportion of people being infected in Kerala is relatively small which means that the number of people vulnerable to the disease is still relatively high.

While the state has been better in finding the cases and recording them, it is also true that the administration may have eased the restrictions sooner than it should have.

The Kerala government eased down the restrictions in spite of high number of cases in the state



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Last week, on the occasion of Bakrid, the government relaxed the COVID-mitigation norms which received a huge backlash from the Supreme Court as the number of cases were still rising. On July 27, the Supreme Court blamed the Kerala government and called it a failure to protect the fundamental right to life and health.

The government relaxed the COVID norms for three days in the districts where the positivity rate was below 15% and one day for districts where the positivity threshold was more than 15%. Non-essential shops like jewellery stores, electronic goods stores were allowed to operate from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. amid the Bakrid celebrations in the state.

The state told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that the traders started to agitate against the stringent COVID norms and they would open their respective shops diluting the rules.

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After relaxation in COVID norms due to Bakrid, Kerala’s Malappuram district reportedly alone witnessed 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, followed by Kozihokde with 2,397 cases and Ernakulam with 2,352 cases.

To curb the worrisome spurt in COVID-19 cases, the central government decided to send a team of six members from the National Centre for Disease Control headed by SK Singh to Kerala, as per a tweet by the union health minister.

The state government announced a complete lockdown in the state from July 31 to August 1, 2021 amid rising coronavirus cases.

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