THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As Covid-19 cases spike and the threat of community transmission looms large, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state has readied a cluster management strategy.
According to him, in a situation in which cases increase and the number of containment zones also increases correspondingly, a strategy of this kind is the need of the hour. For the eleventh consecutive day, cases reported on a single day crossed the hundred mark as 121 new patients were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Monday, including nine CISF personnel in Kannur and three health workers — two in Thrissur and one in Ernakulam.
Also, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the state rose to 23 after the swab sample of a Tamil Nadu native who died in Malappuram on June 24 tested positive during the day.
“The strategy is to look for a cluster of cases from areas where cases with unknown source of infection are being reported and prevent such developments. For that, the containment zones are announced after analysing the distribution of cases and their contacts in a particular area. At these places, antigen tests will be conducted for members of each household. If there is a spike in cases in such areas, a surge plan will be rolled out to deal with it,” said the CM.
The health department, meanwhile, under the cluster management strategy, the focus is on containing the disease within a defined geographic area by early detection, breaking the chain of transmission and thus preventing its spread to new areas. This would include geographic quarantine, social distancing measures, enhanced active surveillance, testing all suspected cases, isolation of cases, home quarantine of contacts and social mobilisation to follow preventive public health measures.
Of the new cases reported on Monday, 104 were returnees, 78 from abroad and 26 from other states, while five persons got infected due to close contact (two from Ernakulam and one each from Kollam, Idukki and Palakkad). Thrissur reported the most number of cases at 26, followed by Kannur (14), Pathanamthitta and Malappuram (13 each), Palakkad (12), Kollam (11), Kozhikode (9), Alappuzha, Idukki and Ernakulam (five each) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod (four each). The day also saw 79 people recovering from the infection.
Three new hotspots were declared on Monday, taking the total number to 118. They are some wards of Chalakudy municipality and Sreenarayanapuram panchayat in Thrissur and Ponnani taluk in Malappuram