Marked decrease in COVID-19 reinfection in Kerala

Health Minister Veena George

Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Cases of COVID-19 reinfection have come down six-fold in Kerala, the State's Department of Health revealed in a report. 

As many as 4,631 were reinfected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. While 2,097 people were reinfected last year, the remaining 2,534 caught the virus for a second time this year, the report pointed out.

Though the number of COVID-19 patients increased to 40.33 lakh this year from 5.38 lakh in 2020, there was no corresponding spike in reinfections. Instead, there was a decrease in the number of patients getting infected for a second time.

Malappuram, Kasaragod and Pathanamthitta districts have the most number of reinfected people, and most of them were in the 20-30 age group. 

The report, presented in a Chief Minister-chaired review meeting, blamed the delay in vaccination and increased contacts with virus carriers for people getting reinfected after 100-150 days after recovering from COVID-19.

The R-factor, or the reproduction rate of COVID-19, denoting the ability of the virus to spread from one person, has come down to 0.94, indicating the lesser spread of the virus. The R-factor has been remaining above one in Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki districts.

The report also said that 52.7 per cent of infected people seeking treatment have not been vaccinated. While 27.6 per cent had received the first dose, 13.1 per cent were totally vaccinated. 

Among those dead, 57.6 per cent were not vaccinated, the report said, adding that 26.3 per cent had received the first jab, and 7.9 per cent were administered both doses. As many as 24,603 people have died of COVID-19 in Kerala, according to government statistics.

99% of seniors administered first dose

Kerala has administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination to 99 per cent of the population aged above 60. As many as 58.07 lakh people of the 58.54 lakh population aged 60 and above have been administered the first dose. The second dose has been given to 39.08 lakh, comprising 67 per cent.

Of the 1.25 crore population aged 45, 1.24 crore (96%) have been administered the first dose, while 74.41 lakh (58%) received both shots.

More antigen tests

The State conducted more rapid antigen tests, 2.08 crore, than RT-PCR, 1.29 crore. Of the 45.95 lakh COVID-19 cases detected so far, 27.49 lakh were found in antigen tests.

Talks on school reopening

A discussion will be held with the Transport Minister on Tuesday for ensuring smooth travel of students to schools, Minister for Education V Sivankutty said.

Parent Teachers' Associations could seek the help of people to buy new school buses, the MInister said, adding that the matter would be discussed with teachers' organisations and political parties. He said the government cannot allow funds to all schools to buy vehicles.

Sivankutty said KSRTC would operate students' only buses. Classes on Victers Channel would continue even after the reopening of schools. 

Schools in Kerala are slated to reopen on November 1.

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