The Hush Post| 7:57 pm|one-minute-read|
India has witnessed nearly 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,500 deaths till Wednesday. States like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi have seen huge spikes in infections. However, the Kerala story of how it has almost come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring. It has emerged as a model for its containment strategy.
Kerala witnessed the first three Corona Virus cases in India. Now it has not only managed to rein in the number of infections. It now has the distinction of recording one of the highest recovery rates.
Out of the total 503 patients who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, 469 persons have recovered in Kerala. Now only 30 are still under hospitalisation. The state’s recovery rate is a whopping 93.24 per cent far beyond the national average of 28.71 per cent.
Kerala’s numbers stand out in comparison to other states that have over 100 cases. At 57.29% Telangana comes a distant second when it comes to recoveries. Rajasthan (49.25%) Karnataka (49.18%) and Andhra( 41.02%) are also among the states with the highest rate of recoveries.
Pertinently, Kerala has also been able to manage its mortality rate low at 0.79% with 4 deaths due to COVID-19 so far. This too is well below the national mortality rate of 3.42%.
Dr Amar Fettle, Kerala’s nodal officer for infectious diseases, modestly insists that the state went by the rule book. “From the medical side of it, I don’t think there is a specific thing we are doing. We have identified them (positive cases) as early as possible,” says Dr Amar, adding that Kerala has been following the standard protocol prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
However, the difference between Kerala and the rest may lie in the speed at which the state managed to trace contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients and contain the spread of the virus.
“For every patient who came in, we traced 100 contacts of an infected patient. And we quarantined them well, and also during the quarantine period, we observed them regularly so that they don’t go out and infect other patients,” explains Dr B Ekbal, who heads the state expert committee that advises the Kerala government on the coronavirus.
The state also has a robust public health system with good facilities in most districts. Coronavirus patients were mainly treated at medical colleges across the state.
Another reason why Kerala saw a high recovery rate is the fact that a bulk of the patients had mild symptoms, say Dr Amar and Dr Ekbal.
The nodal officer says that Kerala has had some severe cases, but explains, “The ancillary and support facilities that are available are quite good. We support them well. We give them psychological support during the period. All the other things are standard procedure as per protocol.”