Amid 32 new COVID-19 cases, Kerala does the impossible. Brings nonagenarian back to life

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Thiruvananthapuram: With 32 new confirmed cases, the wave-like up and down pattern of positive cases in Kerala was broken on Monday. Quite against the pattern, the number of positive cases had a surge for the second consecutive day; if it was 20 on Sunday, it grew to 32 on Monday.

This takes the total number of active cases in Kerala to 213. However, the total confirmed cases, including the 20 who had recovered and the one who had died, are 234.

Even then, there is still no sign of secondary contact. Of the 32 tested positive on Monday, 17 have come from foreign countries and the remaining 15 are primary contacts who have contracted infection from those who had returned from abroad.

Though testing on secondary contacts, too, are being done, no one has yet shown positive results.

Back from the dead

But even in the midst of rising cases, Kerala recorded a major triumph. An old couple, who had been in critical condition ever since they were admitted to Kottayam Medical College on March 9, have fully recovered. Thomas (93) and Mariamma (86) were the parents of the Ranni native who had returned from Italy on February 29 and set fire to the post-Wuhan COVID-19 phase in Kerala.

Initially, the couple were admitted to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital but with their health worsening they were urgently shifted to Kottayam Medical College. Thomas had a heart condition and soon enough he developed respiratory problems. His oxygen levels plummeted to alarming levels and he had to be put on ventilator, and within 24 hours he suffered a heart attack.

Mariamma, on her part, had urinary problems and she also contracted a severe bacterial infection to go with the severe virus attack. It was four days ago that Thomas was taken off the ventilator. He was back from the dead. When even advanced countries like Italy are leaving their old to die, Kerala has resurrected a nonagenarian.

Kasaragod woes continue

Kasaragod and Kannur continue to be the worst affected. Of the 32, 17 positive cases came from Kasaragod and 11 from Kannur. There were two each in Wayanad and Idukki.

The total confirmed cases in Kasaragod has crossed 100 (at the moment, it is 107) but Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan once again affirmed that there was no community transmission. He said some Kasaragod natives who had come with the disease from foreign countries had contacts with many people. "The positive cases we are seeing now are the primary contacts of these foreign-returnees," the chief minister said.

In short, there is no sign yet of community transmission in Kasaragod where many fear the virus is waiting for a chance to explode.

Gloom lifts in Idukki

Concerns in Idukki seem to be on the wane. The political leader in Idukki who it was feared had infected many had tested negative. At least 24 people he had come into contact during his unchecked travels all over Kerala have also shown no traces of the virus in the results that were published in the last two days.

The chief minister but refused to divulge whether the two new cases reported today had any links with this political leader. "I don't have such details with me now" he said brusquely. Last day, a bunk shop owner the political leader had come into contact had tested positive.

Thiruvananthapuram's worry

However, new areas of uncertainty have opened up. This time in Thiruvananthapuram. Many things about the Thiruvananthapuram native who had tested positive the last day is still vague. The district administration has not been able to plot a proper route map as the man is in a serious condition.

"He has many other ailments. His kidney is damaged and dialysis has begun. Since he is too unwell, he is not in a position to speak. A temporary route map has been prepared on the basis of what his relatives said," the chief minister said.

1.57 lakh under observation

By now, the number of people under observation has risen to 1,57,283, up from 1,41,221 yesterday. Of this, 1,56,660 or over 99 per cent of those under observation are quarantined in their homes. 623 people are isolated in hospitals across the state.

Till date 6,991 samples of suspected cases have been sent for testing out of which 6,034 came as negative.

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