After 2 successful clean days of not reporting a single case of the positive corona, the state of Kerala reported 3 new COVID-19 cases today (Tuesday, May 05). All three are natives of Wayanad and developed the disease through contact.
Three new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced in a press briefing after a COVID evaluation meeting here.
All three are natives of Wayanad and developed the disease through contact. The patients are the wife and mother of the truck driver who was diagnosed with coronavirus and the son of the cleaner in the lorry.
The statistics underline Kerala’s remarkable recovery rate and confirm that the state has not just successfully flattened the infection curve but is well on its way to be labeled COVID-free if the present circumstances continue. Over the last few days, the health department has been testing samples as part of ‘sentinel surveillance’ among health workers, police officials, migrant workers, grocery vendors, and other high-risk groups. This is in addition to those being screened and tested for their foreign travel history and contacts with that infected. Both the regular sample testing as well as sentinel surveillance testing have shown no evidence of any kind of silent transmission of the virus within the community. This is also a huge relief for the government.
While the rest of India, along with countries such as the UK and the US, wouldn’t take stringent steps to limit movement for another two months, Shailaja had ordered Kerala’s four international airports to start screening passengers in January. All those with symptoms were taken to a government facility, where they were tested and isolated; their samples were flown to the National Institute of Virology 700 miles away. By February, she had a 24-member state response team coordinating with the police and public officials across Kerala.
This was unusual—but Kerala often goes a different route from the rest of India. The small coastal state at the country’s southern tip is steeped in communist ideas and governed by a coalition of communist and left-wing parties.
There were other reasons why Kerala was better equipped to deal with the crisis than most places. It is small and densely populated, but relatively well-off. It has a 94% literacy rate, the highest in India, and a vibrant local media.