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‘Kerala model’ takes a hit as Coronavirus test positivity rate reaches 3 times the national average, number of active cases second-highest in the country

While accusations of data manipulation have earlier been labelled by the BJP, independent doctors have now disputed the official figures of the Kerala government.

Kerala was earlier hailed as a ‘model state’, by the left-liberal lobby, in India’s fight against the Coronavirus infection. Earlier this month, India Today had even given the Healthgiri award to the state for ‘combating coronavirus’ in the state. But now with the rising number of active cases, the ‘Kerala model’, as portrayed by the media, has taken a huge blow. Kerala, which surprisingly had a low number of cases initially, have surpassed highly populous states to take the second spot in the number of active cases.

For a State with a population of just about 3.5 crores, the total number of active cases stands at a whopping 93,291 as of October 22. At the same time, the total confirmed cases of Coronavirus have crossed 3.69 lacs. While 2.74 lac people have recovered from the fatal infection, a total of 1,256 people have died. Kerala is preceded by Maharashtra, in the list, with about 1.5 lac active cases.

Coronavirus data from Kerala (Source: https://www.covid19india.org )

However, the data reflects a grim picture of Kerala’s pandemic scenario. As per reports, the Coronavirus test positivity rate (TPR) of Kerala stands at 13.3%. The data released by the State government showed that 7,842 people tested positive for Coronavirus out of 56,093 individuals tested for the deadly infection. This is roughly 3 times the national average, which is about 4%. While Karnataka has an almost similar number of active cases, its test positivity rate (5.42%) is far lower than that of Kerala.

The discrepancy in the number of Coronavirus fatalities

It is important to note that Kerala has a low case fatality ratio (CFR) of 0.3%. As per the official data, the total Coronavirus-related fatalities in the State stand at a mere 1,256 cases. Districts such as Thiruvanthapuram (364), Malappuram (133), Ernakulam (123), Kozhikode (117), Kannur (89), Thrissur (89) recorded the highest number of fatalities.

Coronavirus related deaths in Kerala (Source: https://www.covid19india.org )

Nevertheless, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier boasted about the low number of Covid-19 deaths and claimed that Kerala had the lowest mortality rate in the country. He emphasised that the State’s CFR is lower than the national average of 1.54%.

While accusations of data manipulation have earlier been labelled by the BJP, independent doctors have now disputed the official figures of the Kerala government. They have alleged that many Coronavirus-related fatalities have failed to make into the government’s official numbers. According to medical expert Dr N M Arun, the actual number of deaths stand at 2260, which is roughly 1.8 times the official figures. Besides the high test positivity rate, the lack of transparency over the Covid-19 fatalities has also put the Kerala government in the dock.

Kerala’s recovery rate below the national average

Moreover, the recovery rate of Kerala is far below the national average of 89.2%. As per data, the recovery rate of Coronavirus patients in the State stands at 74.4%. This is roughly 15% less than the national average.

Coronavirus data from Kerala (Source: https://www.covid19india.org )

Coronavirus pandemic exposed Kerala’s healthcare system

The hold that communists have over media ensured that these facts regarding Kerala’s terrible management of Coronavirus crisis get pushed under the rug. India’s most literate state, which supposedly had a robust healthcare system, has left behind Uttar Pradesh in the number of active Coronavirus cases. To put things in perspective, the State has 7 times more population than Kerala. British Daily newspaper The Guardian had hailed Kerala’s health Minister KK Shailaja as ‘rockstar’. However, since Kerala has witnessed a drastic rise in cases, she has avoided giving interviews or patronising other state governments to learn from the Kerala model.

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