According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in the last five days, Kerala has reported over 1.5 lakh new cases of Covid-19. The state’s share is reporting fresh cases of the deadly disease stands at over 68% of the total cases reported in the country in the last five days. The total tally of India in the same period stands at 2,26,067, while Kerala reported 1,55,424 cases.
Day-wise case status in Kerala
On August 25, Kerala reported 31,445 (67.9% of total cases in India) cases, while India’s tally stood at 46,280.
On August 26, 30,077 (67.5% of total cases in India) cases were reported in Kerala, while in the rest of the country, only 14,473 cases were reported.
On August 27, Kerala saw a further spike by over 2,000 cases and reported 32,801 (70.07% of total cases in India) new Covid-19 cases. India’s tally on the same day stood at 46,806.
On August 28, Kerala reported 31,265 (69.3% of total cases in India) new cases, while in India, the total count was 45,064.
On August 29, Kerala reported 29,836 (68.7% of total cases in India) new Covid-19 cases, which was of the total count in India that was 43,367.
Failed Kerala Model
Kerala’s Covid-19 management, often termed as Kerala model, was initially lauded by media and liberal sections of the society over ‘controlling the pandemic’. In fact, some international media houses had declared as early as February and March 2020 that Kerala has won over the pandemic. However, after the initial chest-thumping as the best Covid-19 managing state, the Kerala model fell like a house of cards, and the state started to appear in the top contributors of Covid-19 cases.
While the rest of the country has managed to control the pandemic, Kerala continues to remain unhinged in terms of new cases. To put things in perspective, Kerala contributes to almost 70% of new infections while it is is home to just 3% of India’s total population. Kerala’s average positivity ratio, the rate of positive cases for every 100 tested, stands at 18.5%.
At present, while the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh has been reporting less than 50 cases a day, Kerala has been reporting close to 30,000 cases from the last five days. Recently, media houses like Reuters tried to whitewash the mismanagement and got heavily criticized over the social media platforms.
Instinctively, when the cases are so high, state governments should increase testing so that the infections can be traced and curbed. But Kerala, has actually reduced testing. No test, no cases, seems to be the new mantra in Kerala government. A report in The Hindu Businessline from August 23 states that tests carried out in Kerala had come down by nearly a third in past two weeks.
What is likely to be an unfortunate result of Kerala government’s utter failure to curb the pandemic is that the upcoming Hindu festivals may end up losing its sheen as other state governments will be under pressure to ensure Kerala model is not repeated. Hindus, who have not celebrated festivals in past 18 months owing to the pandemic, are looking forward to the festivities. However, thanks to Kerala model of governance, Hindus may again be forced to have lack lustre festive season.