india kerala COVID-19 test
A healthcare worker takes a nasal sample from man for the COVID-19 test, at the Government General Hospital, in Kochi, Kerala on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Image Credit: ANI

Thiruvananthapuram: With close to 170,000 new COVID-19 cases in Kerala in the past four days and the daily test positivity rate reaching as high as 45 per cent, State Health Minister Veena George on Monday dispelled media reports that there is a huge shortage of health facilities following the massive spike.

George said on Monday that the media reports are baseless and unfounded that there is a shortage of beds in state run health facilities.

“At the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College there are 206 ICU beds and of these 40 beds are set aside for COVID-19 patients and at present 20 beds are vacant, so is the case with other state run hospitals. Across the state in these centres 43 per cent of the facilities are occupied by Covid and non-Covid patients, while the rest are lying vacant,” said George.

She added with regard to occupancy in the beds with oxygen facility it’s a mere 0.7 per cent while it’s just 0.4 per cent ICU beds.

“We have now put into service 957 qualified counsellors who are available to people who are affected with Covid and requires a pep talk and by now they have made over 1.25 crore telephone calls and have counselled. Besides that, we have made all arrangements to ensure supply of medicines to the needy at their homes. The state is fully geared to face any eventualities and at the moment every aspect is under full control and there need be nothing to be worried,” said George.

Meanwhile, reports have come that with a huge number of health care professionals turning positive, there are issues of heavy workload and testing centres are also flooded with samples and legislators are now calling up these centres to speed up the testing process and to provide for the results at the earliest.

Another feature during the third wave in Kerala is that some are not going out to conduct the tests and at many homes, they do the testing on kits available at the medical shops and hence these figures do not add up to the daily positive cases.