"Ready With Plan A, B, C": Kerala Health Minister As COVID-19 Cases Rise

Kerala, like most states in India, is under lockdown, with its borders sealed and only essential services being allowed access.

'Ready With Plan A, B, C': Kerala Health Minister As COVID-19 Cases Rise

Kerala has scaled up its response to the coronavirus pandemic, Health Minister KK Shailaja said.

Thiruvananthapuram:

With the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Kerala, health officials in the state have identified two primary clusters of patients - those who have returned from Italy or Dubai.

"Around 80 per cent of the 91 confirmed cases are those who have returned from Dubai or links with those who have returned from Dubai," Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told NDTV.

"Around 19 per cent of the cases in Kerala are primary contacts (spread from direct contact with a patient), and rest of 81 per cent are people who have returned from abroad. As of now, we don't have community transmission cases, but we cannot predict the future," the minister added. Community transmission refers to the infection rapidly spreading locally without doctors being able to identify the source.

"We have scaled up our capacities. We have one lakh beds in government and private hospitals for now. We have around 5,000 ventilators, ICUs (Intensive Care Units). We had only one testing laboratory for COVID-19 cases, when the first case was detected in Kerala. We have around 10 ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research)-approved labs now. We have three plans - Plan A, B and C- depending upon the rise of cases," KK Shailaja said.

Kerala accounts for around 15 per cent of the total coronavirus tests done in the country. While three people from the state have recovered completely, a fourth patient has been discharged from the hospital on Monday and is under home isolation.

Kerala, like most states in India, is under lockdown, with its borders sealed and only essential services being allowed access.

"It's the small number of people who have violated the quarantine instructions that have aggravated our concerns. The reason why we had to announce a lockdown, because people were not following the advisories," the minister said.

"India is working hard to contain this pandemic. Kerala has mobilised over 25,000 health workers - from ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers to medical college professionals. We are trying our best to mobilise people - in three tiers, on rotational basis, to even combat fatigue and stress," KK Shailaja said.