Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday urged people to maintain absolute caution as variants of the United Kingdom (UK) and South African virus have been identified in the state. "We have been told that the UK and South African variant virus have been reported in April. Of the total cases now detected, 40% are from these variants which includes 30% of the UK strain, while 7% is the double mutant strain and 2% is the one from South Africa," he said after an all-party meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
The state reported 21,890 COVID-19 cases on Monday. This includes 70 health workers, and 28 related deaths on Monday, taking the total caseload to 14.27 lakh and the death toll to 5,138. The total active cases in the state have reached 2.32 lakh, the highest-ever so far.
Meanwhile, the state has revised the discharge policy for COVID-19 patients because of the surge in the number of cases. Treatment for COVID-19 patients has been provided by categorising them into mild, moderate, and severe. As per the revised policy, released by Health Minister KK Shailaja on Monday, those with mild and moderate disease can be discharged from a hospital in three days if they turn asymptomatic.
The state government also said that those with ‘mild disease’ will be discharged in 72 hours if they turn asymptomatic, following which they should be in home isolation for 17 days. If they develop any symptoms, they should immediately call 1056 or inform the hospital where they were undergoing treatment.
Those with ‘moderate disease’ can also be discharged in three days if they turn asymptomatic, following which they will be shifted to isolation in COVID first-line treatment centers or second-line treatment centres.
Those with ‘severe disease’ and having comorbidities should be subjected to an antigen test in 14 days after developing symptoms. They will be discharged if the test returns negative, and if they are asymptomatic for three days and clinically stable. Those who test positive in the antigen test should be subjected to a similar test again in 48 hours.