Corona tests to be increased to 1 lakh in Kerala: Minister

Corona tests to be increased to 1 lakh in Kerala: Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28 (IANS) Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has said that her department will increase the number of daily tests conducted to detect coronavirus cases in the state to one lakh compared with an average 50,000-55,000 now.

"Since there is a surge in corona cases, we will increase the number of tests to around 1,00,000 per day. We will also increase RT-PCR tests instead of the antigen tests and undertake strict monitoring to prevent a surge in corona cases. As I said earlier too, we have controlled the fatality rate -- one of the lowest in the country. We expect to bring down the cases also soon," she told IANS.

With a surge in corona cases in the past few days, several health experts have warned the state government to act immediately or else the situation could get out of hand.

Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Scientific Adviser, Indian Medical Association (IMA), had told the media that Kerala was "a victim of its own success", pointing out that people had lowered the guard after the euphoria over containment of the virus in the initial phases.

The Chief Minister and Health Minister must immediately act and bring the situation under control, Dr Jayadevan said in a note to the government. He pointed out that Intensive Care Units in the state were "fast filling up".

In a related development, a study conducted by the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College said that 56 per cent of the patients it surveyed contracted corona infections from own homes, about 20 per cent from markets, shopping malls and restaurants, and another 20 per cent from workplaces.

As many as 65 per cent of the patients included in its study did not follow social distancing while 45 per cent did not wear masks. Five per cent children got infected in schools and 47 per cent at home, the study added.

The state will take strong action against those not following social distancing norm at public places and not wearing masks.



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