Covid may abate in Kerala by Sept-end, says US report

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Thiruvananthapuram: The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to come under control in Kerala by September-end, estimates the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in the US.

The number of Covid cases could drop to 5,000 and the daily death toll to 18 by late August. The number of people seeking treatment at hospitals and in critical condition is also likely to drop by then.

Going by the current situation, the total number of Covid-infected people in the state is likely to fall to 3,761 by October 1. If the preventive measures are strictly followed, it may reduce to 1,534. The daily death toll could drop to five, according to the projection report.

The report, however, has no definite indication about the arrival of third wave.

Kerala reported 12,787 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday after testing 1,24,326 samples as the Test Positivity Rate further dropped to 10.29 per cent.

From the onset of the Covid pandemic in January 2020, the IHME's international studies have been more or less accurate. The projection report is prepared based on the official data on the Covid spread in states, including Kerala. But the report warns that the Covid cases could rise again if the public lower their guard.

Delta Plus variant

Three people in Kerala have been found to be infected with Delta Plus, the newly-emerged variant of the Coronavirus that caused COVID-19. One person among them was found to have taken two doses of the vaccine as is required. With this, an epidemiological investigation has been started to find the source of infection.

With Delta Plus causing breakthrough infection (person tests positive after vaccination), the health department has directed that strict caution should be exercised. The Delta Plus variant was detected during a genome sequencing study at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi.

The Union Health Ministry has said that 40 cases of Delta Plus variant has been detected in in the country, including in Palakkad and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. The variant has also been found in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This variant was first confirmed in a sample collected from Maharashtra on April 5.

The central government has warned Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that the variant is a ‘variant of concern’ and asked the states to be cautious. The advisory was issued after it was evaluated that the variant can evade the immune system and resist antibodies.

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