Kerala reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases on a single day with 1103 people testing positive Saturday, 838 of them being through contacts. The source of contact of 72 patients is not known and this has become a worry for the health authorities.
However, the good news is that 1049 patients recovered from the infection on the same day.
The state also reported five deaths, taking the total to 59.
A marriage reception held on July 17 in Chengalam in Kasaragod district has become a cluster with 43 testing positive, including the bride and the groom. The reception violated the Covid rules as over 75 people attended the lavish reception. Those who attended the reception are being tested while the police registered a case against the hosts.
Thiruvananthapuram continued to report a high number of cases with 240 people testing positive Saturday, followed by Kozhikode (110), Kasaragod (105 and Alappuzha (102).
Ernakulam district reported 79 cases and an old age home has become a cluster with 49 testing positive today. The virus is now spreading from Aluva to nearby panchayats, sources said.
A decision on lockdown will be taken on Monday. Sources indicated that there may not be a total lockdown, but hotspots and cluster areas may be shut down.
Meanwhile, the government has issued new guidelines on Covid treatment costs in private hospitals. Health Minister KK Shailaja said that the treatment cost for COVID-19 should be uniform across all private hospitals that provide treatment for the disease. This is also applicable for the private hospitals that have been included under the government’s health insurance scheme Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP).
“Like any other disease, for COVID-19 as well people can seek treatment at any hospital of their choice; be it in the private or government sector,” the Minister stated.
The government has fixed the cost at Rs 2300 per day for general ward, Rs 3300 for High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Rs 6500 for Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The per day cost for a ventilator has been fixed at Rs 11,500. The government has also allowed hospitals to charge patients for the cost of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
The treatment for Covid patients who are covered under KASP will be totally borne by the state health agency while the expense of those who are referred to a private hospital from a government care centre will be borne by the state, the Minister said.
“The government and the private sector will fight the pandemic together. Twenty eight government hospitals had been equipped for the treatment of COVID-19 patients from the beginning. Now that COVID-19 patients are being admitted in private hospitals, the facilities for COVID-19 examination has also been expanded. Facilities for triage test and for swab collection for the needy have been made available in all government and private hospitals,” the statement added.