The green zones of Kerala have reported a string of new novel coronavirus positive cases, that too in the double digits, leaving health officials worried.
At a time when the state was supposed to be leading from the front in India’s battle against the pandemic outbreak, 74 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported between April 21 and 27, reported The Indian Express. In the week prior to that, only 34 new cases were reported, bringing hopes of a flattened curve. In this span, between April 12 and April 20, the number of COVID-19 patients who recovered from the deadly disease per day was also consistently more than the number of new cases being reported.
Kottayam, a district in central Kerala where no new coronavirus cases were reported until the last week, had in fact seen the last COVID-19 patients recovering and getting discharged from hospital in the first week of April. However, 17 of the 74 new cases were reported from this district. Its neighbouring district Idukki, which had also not reported any new COVID-19 case after the second week of April, saw 14 new cases.
To make matters worse, the health department of Kerala has not been able to trace the source of 10 of these new cases, deepening fears of community transmission of the highly contagious virus. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has, however, been dismissing such concerns, claiming Kerala has not entered ‘community transmission’ stage yet.
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Meanwhile, Dr Abraham Varghese, President of Indian Medical Association, Kerala, has said it was not wise of the state government to ease lockdown for Kottayam and Idukki districts so soon. He added: “The virus clearly doesn’t understand boundaries. When you classify a district as a green zone, you give the people there a false sense of confidence. They think they are safe and will rush out onto the roads. Such attitudes cannot be entertained.”
Lockdown relaxations were introduced in both these districts after assessing the coronavirus situation, which are likely to be rolled back due to the sudden spurt in cases.