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Last Updated : Oct 01, 2020 10:56 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus pandemic | Once a 'model state', Kerala’s COVID-19 situation is now critical

Kerala now ranks among the top three worst-hit states vis-a-vis the number of new coronavirus cases being reported per million population per week, coming next only to Delhi and Maharashtra

LIVE updates of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on India and the world
LIVE updates of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on India and the world

Five months after Kerala earned praise from the international community for flattening the COVID-19 curve successfully, the state finds itself among those with the maximum coronavirus case load now.

Kerala, on October 1, reported 8,135 fresh COVID-19 cases, 2,828 recoveries, and 29 COVID-19 deaths, taking total number of active cases to 72,339. Kerala’s total coronavirus tally now stands over 1,96,000, including 742 deaths and more than 1,28,000 recoveries.

In the past few days, Kerala has seen a sudden spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections being reported daily. Even two weeks ago, somewhere around 3,500-4,000 new coronavirus cases were being reported daily.

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Unfortunately, Kerala now ranks among the top three worst-hit states vis-a-vis the number of new coronavirus cases being reported per million population per week, coming next only to Delhi and Maharashtra. According to a Times of India report, Kerala is registering 158 coronavirus cases in the week from September 19-26, whereas there were 111 new cases per million population in the week before.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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What is especially a cause for concern is that the proportion of active cases in Kerala is nearly 35 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded thus far, The Indian Express reported. This is far higher than the national active coronavirus case ratio that stands at 15.42 percent.

Kerala’s recovery rate is also far below the national average. India’s COVID-19 recovery rate at the moment is above 83 percent, whereas that of Kerala’s is 65.39 percent.

In what could offer a little relief to Keralites, the state fares better than most states in the top 10 list with regard to the mortality rate. Kerala has a mortality rate of 0.38 percent, which is among the lowest in India. The national average for the same is 1.57 percent.

Though the Kerala government has admitted that the current COVID-19 situation in the state is extremely critical, it has ruled out imposing a complete coronavirus lockdown again.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
First Published on Oct 1, 2020 10:56 pm
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