Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India: Chief Minister of the south Indian state of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday cautioned that the state is facing a very serious situation as the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly.
"Kerala is going through a serious situation with COVID spreading rapidly in the state. The test positivity rate is not coming down. The situation calls for imposing more restrictions in the state," said Vijayan.
The state recorded its highest single day rise of 41,953 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday from 1,63,321 sample tested.
Ernakulam district has the maximum number of 6,558 new coronavirus cases. As many as 58 deaths were also confirmed, caused by COVID-19, taking the related death toll in the state to 5,565.
Presently, there are 3,75,658 patients undergoing treatment while 23,106 patients have recovered from the disease today (Wednesday). Briefing the media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: "All figures are increasing and the test positivity rate is not reducing either. In these circumstances, we need to strengthen the restrictions. As the number of COVID patients increases by the day, the need for oxygen has also increased. Oxygen stock is decreasing very rapidly. In this scenario, we need the Centre's help in maintaining adequate stock of oxygen. I have requested the Prime Minister to provide 1,000 MT of imported liquefied medical oxygen to the State."
"Kerala should be allotted 500 MT as the first instalment from the current import quota. Another 500 MT may be allotted in the next phase. Consideration may also be given to allocating 500 MT from any steel plant near Kerala. In view of the increasing number of COVID patients, Kerala should be provided with as many oxygen tankers, PSA plants, oxygen concentrators and ventilators as possible on a high priority basis", said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister today gave a broad picture about the status of IC, ventilator and oxygen beds in the State. "There are 2,857 ICU beds in government hospitals across Kerala. Of this, 996 beds are being used for the treatment of COVID patients and 756 beds for non-COVID patients. About 38.7 per cent of ICU beds in government hospitals are still available. In private hospitals, there are 7,085 ICU beds and currently, 1,037 beds are being used for COVID patients. The total number of ventilators currently available in government hospitals is 2,293. Of these, 441 ventilators are being used for the treatment of COVID patients and 185 for non-COVID patients, which means, a total of about 27.3 per cent are currently in use. Of 1523 ventilators in private hospitals, 377 are currently being used for COVID treatment. 0.96 per cent of the beds in CFLTCs and 20.6 per cent of the beds in CLTCs are oxygen beds. Of the total 3,231 oxygen beds in medical colleges, 1,731 have been set aside for COVID treatment and presently, patients are being treated in 1,429 beds. 546 were non-COVID patients. This means, of the total 3,231 oxygen beds, 1,975 are now in use."
Vijayan further said: "Banks should stop all recovery proceedings considering the pandemic situation people are going through. Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Kerala Water Authority (KWA) have been asked to stop collecting pending bill arrears for two months.
He said that those who need emergency medicines and are unable to go out can seek the help of Kerala Police to buy medicine by calling the police control room. The State Police media centre will also spread awareness in social media about COVID-19 guidelines."