Kerala has become the first state in India to confirm community transmission of COVID-19.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said community transmission has been confirmed in coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram district, based on test results from today.
“We have come to the conclusion that COVID is now in community transmission in areas like Poomthura and Pulluvila,” Pinarayi Vijayan said, delivering his daily update on the situation in the state.
Random samples were tested in four coastal areas of the district.
Pullivila in Karinkulam Panchayat showed 51 positive cases out of 97 tested, while 26 positive cases were detected among 50 people tested in Ayush Kendra in Poomthura. At the third spot of Puthukurissi, 20 out of 72 samples tested positive for COVID-19.
“Parts of Thiruvanathapuram district are facing an extremely dangerous situation. The coastal areas are seeing very rapid disease transmission,” he said.
It is believed that fishermen caught the virus when they visited Tamil Nadu as part of their fishing activities.
Due to the extremely high population density of fishing villages, the virus spread fast over the last two weeks, hitting community transmission level.
Vijayan said the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram district are being designated ‘containment zone’ and people will not be allowed to move about except for urgent matters.
Lockdown has been imposed for one week in the worst affected area.
There are a total of 84 cluster outbreaks in Kerala, including 10 ‘large community clusters’, Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Thiruvananthapuram district contributed 246 out of the 791 positive cases detected today.
Out of these, only 2 were among people who came from outside, four of those detected are health workers, while three people had infections of unknown origins. All the others got the virus from other infected patients around them.
Other districts that saw large number of new cases are Eranakulam (115 cases) and Pathanamthitta (87 cases).
Out of the 791 total cases detected in Kerala today, 532 have been ascribed to local transmission, 135 to those who returned from outside India and 98 among those from other states in India.
14,480 samples were tested today and 1,282 people were moved to hospital isolation over suspected infection today.
The number of active cases is 6,029.
A total of 11,066 people have tested positive for the virus in the state since January, when the first case was detected.
FIRST IN INDIA
The confirmation of community transmission has made Kerala the first state to do so.
States such as Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, which have reported 1.2-2.9 lakh cases so far, are yet to confirm community transmission.
Government of India too has denied that community transmission exists in India.