The world will never be the same again. Most countries throughout the world have learned to live with a pandemic that may lead to their demise in one way or another.
Every day, a new variant knocks on our door, and our only defence is vaccination, which does not have the same effect on people in general. Thousands of COVID-19 instances are reported every day by countries around the world, and we wonder when this will come to an end.
When will we be free of the virus that was created by mankind and has killed thousands and thousands of people? The only way we are trying to calm ourselves out is by saying, the virus is the result of human greed and its karma.
The third wave of COVID-19 is approaching, and Kerala is the most afflicted state in India. Kerala now has over 1 lakh active COVID-19 cases. Recently, the state accounted for nearly 70% of all new Covid-19 cases in India, and the state’s positive rate is still lingering at 17%.
So the burning question is: Why is Kerala still suffering from India’s COVID-19 second wave?
- The virus’s durability in Kerala has been linked in part to the state’s low seroprevalence (A pathogen’s prevalence in a community, as determined in blood serum), which has been attributed to prior accomplishments in stopping the virus’s transmission. Kerala reported a seroprevalence of nearly 11 per cent, compared to more than 20 per cent nationally and more than 60 per cent in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, according to a seroprevalence survey conducted in March.
- Kerala still had the lowest seroprevalence rates in India at the end of July, with only 44% of the population displaying antibodies to an infection or vaccination, implying that more than half of the state’s population was still at risk.
- Kerala’s high population density, which is more than twice the national average, humid weather conditions, a number of religious festivals and gatherings that had occurred, and fatigue among first-rate health workers – line responsible for community policing and contact tracing, among other things – are all major factors in the virus’s continued spread.
- The significant number of cases recorded can be attributed in part to Kerala’s extensive COVID-19 detection. Kerala continues to have the highest testing rate in India, discovering one out of every six cases in the community, compared to one out of every 33 cases nationally.
- Despite the fact that the number of cases in Kerala is still high, the state, which invests more in healthcare than any other in India, has not run out of oxygen, hospital beds, or nursing facilities. When the second wave of infections peaked, Delhi and other states faced ICU and medicine shortages. Kerala had a 3% hospitalisation rate for Covid, compared to a national average of 5% when the second wave was at its peak.
- In addition, the state has the highest immunisation rate, with 55 per cent of the population getting vaccinated, compared to 48 per cent nationally.
- Kerala also has the lowest death rate in India, with a rate of 0.5 per cent compared to the national average of 1.4 per cent. Kerala’s COVID plan has been maintained by the state government.
When Covid-19 raced through India last year, one state, in particular, was praised for its response to the pandemic.
The “Kerala model,” called after a number of early-on steps implemented by the south Indian state, including thorough and focused testing, containment, community support, and contact tracing, became a euphemism for success in containing the virus. Kerala’s now-deposed health minister, KK Shailaja, was dubbed the “Covid slayer” and named Vogue India’s woman of the year after the state had the lowest death toll from the virus.
Kerala has done an excellent job of limiting the pandemic. If anything, the state has done a decent job of managing it, and its healthcare system is in a good position to handle future COVID-19 waves as well. Given the rate at which Kerala is vaccinating its population, such waves are unlikely to be as severe as the second.