COVID-19: 13 new cases emerge in Kerala, extra vigil after lockdown
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released a data report suggesting that 13 new cases were reported in Kerala as of 9 am on April 7. This has spiked the total number of cases to 327. Kasargod reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases with 136 confirmed infections. This has given rise to speculations that restrictions might continue even after the lockdown period in Kerala. The restrictions might continue in 8 districts that are considered as hotspots of COVID-19 infections. The 8 districts are Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala has now developed its own inexpensive kiosks for mass collection of samples from people with symptoms for COVID-19. The kiosk is called walk-in sample kiosk (Wisk), modeled after Kiosks deployed in South Korea. These Kiosks are the first of its kind in India. Two walk-in sample kiosks are now set up at the government medical college premises in Ernakulam. According to Kerala officials, the Kiosks cost around Rs 40,000 and take about two days for the setup.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has also triggered the need for an extra vigil after the lockdown in Kerala state. 30 Malayali nurses working in Delhi and Mumbai hospitals contracted the COVID-19 virus. A senior health department officer speaking on this matter said, “We are planning to avail the services of private hospital staff in the state once the lockdown is lifted. Also, the department has reached out to retired health workers, including doctors, to make use of their service”. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also urged the government for the protection of Malayalis in other states. Mr. Vijayan has also penned a letter to Mr. Uddhav Thackeray, saying: “In this hour of crisis, the nation needs to stand with them and give them the confidence which they have been giving all along to others.” The total number of cases in India amounts to 4,421, claiming 114 deaths so far.