While the daily Covid count in Kerala has been declining after crossing the 40,000-mark during the second wave of infections in May, the high death numbers reported by the state continue to remain a concern.
Kerala today reported 213 Covid deaths, its highest tally in the daily bulletins issued since the pandemic began. This is also the first time the daily death count crossed 200.
The state today reported 19,661 new Covid cases, a slender dip from the tally of 19,760 yesterday. The test positivity rate recorded today is 15.3 per cent, slightly up from yesterday's 15.13 per cent.
The state currently has 1,92,165 active cases and it has tested over 2 crore samples for Covid.
With the state government imposing tight restrictions to stem the surge in Covid cases during the second wave of the pandemic, Kerala's daily case counts steadily dropped from over 40,000 in the first half of May to below the 20,000 mark. The death numbers, however, have consistently increased. The state reported 48 deaths on May 1 and went on to cross 100 for the first time on May 19 before passing the 200-mark today.
This spike in Covid deaths in the state is a deviation from the trend seen during the first wave when Kerala was able to keep the death count low despite a surge in cases. The case fatality ratio, however, remains low at 0.35, in comparison to the national average of 1.18
The Covid death counts despite a decline in cases has also emerged as a political flashpoint, with the Opposition demanding that the 'death confirmation protocol' be changed and asserting that there should be no attempt to "deliberately portray low death rates".
The state government has responded that it is following the World Health Organization's guidelines.