In Kerala, Vidyarambham, the tradition of young children being initiated into the world of letters on the last day of Dassehra, was followed with COVID-19 protocols on Monday. This comes as Kerala surpassed Maharashtra as the state with the highest daily COVID-19 cases.
However, in relation to COVID-19 deaths, case fatality rate in Kerala is at 0.34 per cent, much lower than the national average of 1.51 per cent. The same for Maharashtra is 2.63 per cent, almost eight times that of Kerala.
"The rate of infection is lower than the medical care threshold of the state. At the end of the pandemic, the only question that will matter is, how many lives could be saved and at what cost? That's our focus, to ensure as low deaths as possible by improving our medical capacity," Dr Asheel Mohammed, who's part of the COVID-19 core team, told NDTV.
"As we near the purposely delayed peak, Kerala is prepared to handle up to 15,000 cases every day," said Dr Mohammed.
According to government sources, ventilator occupancy in the state is at 20 per cent, intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy at 42 per cent and bed occupancy at 50 per cent currently.
Kerala's daily test positivity rate is at over 14.19 per cent, more than three times the national average, with concerns being raised by specialists, including Indian Medical Association (IMA), in what they have claimed to be a relatively lower testing sample in Kerala.
The IMA had claimed that almost a lakh samples should be tested a day, while currently around half of that is being tested.
The failure of reverse quarantine was observed in 61 (24 per cent) of COVID-19 deaths. Mortality may be prevented by vigilant observation of reverse quarantine, officials said. A total of 223 deaths were classified as to have underlying cause of death as COVID-19.
The mean age of COVID-19 deaths was 63.5 years with a standard deviation of
13.1. The minimum age of death was seven months and the maximum age was 97 years. Age is an established determinant of COVID-19 mortality.
Comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease and cancer are also established determinants of mortality in COVID-19.