Kerala reported its sixth covid-19 death, and 53 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, said the state health minister KK Shailaja, in a statement. The hike is worrying for the state. It is also bracing for a potential spike in cases after resuming train and air services next week.
Amina, a 53-year-old cancer patient from Wayanad district, succumbed to the virus infection while undergoing treatment at Government Medical College hospital, Kozhikode district, said the health minister. She had tested positive for the virus after her return from Dubai on 20 May.
Of the fresh cases, the minister said, 18 people returned from foreign countries, 29 came from other states, and five were infected through contact, including a health worker. There are five recoveries too on Sunday, she added.
It is the second-largest single-day spike of cases in Kerala, and the third consecutive day of a rise in infections that has drastically reversed its earlier success with flattening the infection curve.
The state had confirmed 42 and 62 fresh cases in the last two days, its biggest tallies yet. Like Sunday's, most of the fresh cases were people who returned from international and interstate travel.
The developments take Kerala's active cases to 322, from just 16 on 8 May, according to the health department. The state has recorded 842 total cases so far, and 520 of them recovered, it said.
The bulk of the infections are either in emigration hotspots or those that share borders with other states. According to the health department, the state's capital Thiruvananthapuram district and an emigration hotspot Kannur district have 12 fresh cases each, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts have five, Alappuzha, Palakkad and Ernakulam have four, Kollam has three, Pathanamthitta has two, Kozhikode has one. Another person is a Tamil Nadu native, the department said.
Meanwhile, three people in Wayanad and two in Kasaragod recovered, said the health office. A total of 95,394 people are under observation in Kerala till date, it said, 732 of them hospitalised and the rest at home quarantine. In the last 24 hours, 188 people were admitted to hospitals, said the department.
So far, the state has sent 53,873 samples for testing, and 52,355 of them yielded negative results, the department said. As part of sentinel surveillance of frontline health workers, another 8,088 samples were sent for testing, and 7,588 of them returned negative, it added. Kerala has also added 18 more regions to its list of hot spots on Sunday.