As many as 41 pregnant women have so far succumbed to COVID-19 in Kerala after the virus infection broke out in the southern state one and half years ago, state Health Minister Veena George said in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. The number of the COVID-19 patients, who have died by suicide in the state, stood at 149, she told the state Assembly during the question hour. The minister was replying to a question in this regard raised by Congress legislator TJ Vinod.
"As per the figures reported from the districts, 41 pregnant women have succumbed to the disease in the state. Besides, 149 patients affected with the viral infection have died by suicide," Minister Veena said. A total of 29,355 people in Kerala have died due to COVID-19 as per the Health Department.
Responding to another query by Mathew Kuzhalnadan (Congress), Minister Veena said that as per the reports, there seems to be no difference in the findings of the recent sero prevalence scientific study conducted by the state health department and the similar surveys by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
According to the ICMR study report, the sero positivity rate in Kerala was 0.33%, 0.88% and 11.6% in May, August and December in 2020 respectively and 44.4% in May 2021, the minister noted.
"It has risen to 82.61% when the state conducted the sero prevalence study during August-September this year,” she said.
The increase in the sero positivity rate in the state was expected and it could be attributed to the progress in vaccination and the lifestyle of people, she said.
The findings of the state study indicated that a larger section of the population in the state have attained the resistance power against the pandemic. It also pointed out that 17% of the total population was still prone to the disease, Minister Veena said.
The highest sero prevalence rate, among various categories of people who have received two doses of vaccine, was found among the coastal people - 93.3%, the minister added, quoting the survey.