Kerala recorded 35,013 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, in the highest single day surge so far, while over 2.66 lakh people are presently undergoing treatment for the infection as the toll climbed to 5,211 with 41 deaths, the state government said.
With the addition of the new cases, the infection count has gone up to 14,95,377.
As many as 15,505 people were cured, taking the total recoveries to 12,23,185, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.
Active cases stood at 2,66,646.
In the last 24 hours ending 2 pm, 1,38,190 samples were tested and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was 25.34 per cent.
So far, 1,54,92,489 samples have been tested.
Of the positive cases, 97 are health workers, 275 had come from outside the state and 32,474 were infected through contact.
At least 5,51,133 people are under observation, including 22,726 in hospitals.
Ernakulam recorded the highest number of cases-- 5,287--today followed by Kozhikode 4,317, Thrissur 4,107, Malappuram 3,184 and Thiruvananthapuram 3,210.
Medical colleges in Ernakulam and Kozhikode have reported higher demand for ICU beds and ventilators as compared to other states.
Last week saw many hospitals in Ernakulam reporting ICU beds and ventilators nearing capacity. In some instances, patients had to return from private hospitals due to lack of ventilators. There is a fear that the cases will overwhelm the healthcare system.
‚ÄúPrivate hospitals reported that ICU beds and ventilators are full. We can set up first-line treatment centres, but what would happen to patients who belong to Category C (persons requiring hospital treatment)? It is concerning but as of now, we can manage,‚ÄĚ a government medical officer in Ernakulam said.
In Kozhikode, the situation is also severe and the test positivity rate is around 26%. The district has decided to convert a few schools into FLTCs. The 10 local bodies of Olavanna, Velom, Peruvayal, Chemanchery, Kadalundy, Mavoor, Feroke, Panangad, Ulliyeri and Kakkodi have recorded TPRs of more than 30%, and are considered ‚Äėcritical local self-government institutions (LSGIs)‚Äô. Lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed in various areas as of Wednesday, and police have been charged with patrolling to check for breach of COVID-19 protocol.
"It is very difficult to get a bed in the hospitals of the district. In government hospitals, we have 2200 ventilators and 2560 ICU beds. 40% of ventilators are already used and 60% of ICU beds are also occupied. If this situation continues for some more days, it will be full," Dr Muraleedharan M, vice-president of the Indian Medical Association in Kerala North zone told TNM.