Central team takes stock of State’s COVID situation

It calls for ramping up number of tests done in the community

Thiruvananthapuram

The three-member team of officials from the Union Health Ministry, deputed by the Centre to look into the COVID-19 situation in Kerala, has recommended that the State immediately increase the number of tests done in the community.

They have also recommended that the State improve field-level monitoring and surveillance and to tighten contact tracing mechanisms and cluster mapping so that cases and contacts could be pin-pointed and followed up.

The high and consistent levels of test positivity in the State had come in for discussion during the meetings. The State Health officials raised the argument that the high test positivity was due to the faulty denominator—that private labs that were now doing a significant number of tests were not reporting the negative test results.

The team visited Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts, where the case graph had been on the rise in recent times and interacted with the district administration and health officials. They also met the Health Minister and the senior Health officials in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

The Central team has also expressed their apprehensions over the fact that home care had all but replaced institutional care that the State was providing through first- and second-line treatment centres. In Kerala, COVID-19 seemed to be spreading within families, which was directly linked to the fact that home quarantine was not efficient.

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