Kerala, which has been witnessing an alarming surge in daily COVID-19 cases, has further extended the weekend lockdown from this week.
The central government is sending a six-member team from the National Centre for Disease Control to the state.
“As a large number of Covid cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid the state’s ongoing efforts in Covid management,” said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
The southern state, which has been lauded in the past for its best practices in Covid management, is now contributing about 40 per cent of positive cases in the country daily.
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.
Though the the state is vaccinating at a rate much faster than the rest of the country, its sero-positivity figure is lower.
According to a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) done between June 14 and July 6, Kerala, at 44.4 per cent, has lowest Covid antibodies. Serosurveys can be utilised by the states to guide objective, transparent and evidence-based public health response to COVID-19.
Kerala on Wednesday recorded 22,056 fresh COVID-19 cases pushing the infection caseload to 33,27,301, with the number of people who succumbed to the virus rising to 16,457 with 131 more deaths.