COVID-19 transmission in Kerala has reached a stage wherein the State is now reporting more cases than the national average.
Kerala is now reporting 8,911 cases per 10 lakh population against the national average of 6,974 per 10 lakh, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. The State has accordingly hiked the number of tests, he said.
However, even while the case graph in the State is climbing, Kerala’s case fatality rate continued to be the lowest at 0.34% against the national average of 1.6%, which was a sign of the robustness and efficiency of the State’s public health system, he said.
Now that the transmission has become intense with more people requiring hospital admission, the Health Department was focusing on managing surge capacity and ensuring that hospitals did not run out of ICU beds or ventilators to care for critically ill patients, Mr. Vijayan, said.
In both government and private sector, as many hospital beds and ICU beds as possible should be set aside for COVID patients. In every district, private hospitals had been asked to give at least 10% of the beds for COVID care.
Private hospitals should cooperate with the government to provide COVID care to people by providing a clear audit of the available ICU beds and ventilators on a daily basis, Mr. Vijayan said.
Private hospitals should report the bed occupancy position as well as data on ICU beds and ventilators promptly to the government so that these could be displayed on the government’s dashboard, he said.
On the occasion of Global Hand washing day on Thursday, Mr. Vijayan pointed out that all hand washing facilities that had been set up in public places as part of the ‘Break the Chain’ campaign were in disuse now.
The appointment of gazetted officers as sectoral magistrates to monitor COVID prevention and control activities were giving good results and more officials should come forward to act, he said.