2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kerala

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2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in Kerala, India
Kerala-COVID-19-map.svg
Map of districts with confirmed cases (as of 7 April 2020)
  30+ confirmed cases
  10–29 confirmed cases
  1–9 confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationKerala, India
Index caseThrissur
Arrival date30 January 2020
(2 months, 1 week and 3 days)
Confirmed cases357 (9 April 2020)[1]
Active cases258 [1]
Recovered97 (9 April 2020)[1]
Deaths
2 (31 March 2020)[1]
Territories
Entire state
Official website
dhs.kerala.gov.in

The 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic was first confirmed in India on 30 January 2020, in the state of Kerala.[2][3] As of 9 April 2020, there have been 357 confirmed cases with 97 recoveries and 2 deaths, more than 1,46,600 people are under surveillance in the state.[4][5] The cases were reported from travellers coming from China and Italy and their contacts.[4] Many precautions are being taken by the government to control the disease from spreading. Exams have been postponed, including the final school board exams, and all educational institutions will remain closed until the disease is wiped out. The government announced complete shutdown of the state from 23 March till 31 March. Public transport will not operate during this period, and public gatherings are restricted.[6] A stimulus package of Rs 20,000 crore ($2.85 billion) has also been announced.[7] On 28 March, a 69-year-old man from Mattancherry, Ernakulam who had a travel history to the Middle East, became the first person to die of Covid-19 in Kerala.[8]

Governmental actions[edit]

Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment for caregiving for a patient with coronavirus infection in a government hospital in Kerala.

The government of Kerala declared high alert from 4 to 8 February and starting 8 March 2020 due to coronavirus cases being reported from the state.[9][10] Isolation wards with 40 beds were set up in 21 major hospitals of the state and a helpline was activated in every district.[11] As of 9 March, more than 4000 persons are under home or hospital quarantine in Kerala.[4] As of 4 March, 215 health care workers were deployed across Kerala and 3,646 tele counselling services were conducted to provide psycho-social support to families of those suspected to be infected.[5] Despite the threat of coronavirus infection, the Kerala government decided to go ahead with Attukal pongala, a large, annual, all-women religious congregation in Thiruvananthapuram. The government also urged individuals to refrain themselves from the pongala, take precautions against disease transmission and, if possible, offer pongala at their own homes.[12][13] The government of Kerala has started a YouTube channel for updating the public regarding the status of coronavirus spread in Kerala and precautions to be taken.[14] There are three coronavirus testing centres in Kerala : National Institute of Virology Field Unit, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, Calicut Medical College.[15]

On 10 March, the Kerala government arranged special isolation wards in prisons across the state.[16] On 10 March, the government of Kerala shut down all colleges and schools up to grade 7.[17] The government also urged people to not undertake pilgrimages, attend large gatherings such as weddings and cinema shows.[18]

Also, the government has launched a mobile application called GoK Direct for users to get information and updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) disease. It is an initiative from the Kerala Startup Mission and the Information & Public Relations Department. The app can also send text message alerts to basic phones (without internet).[19]

On 15 March, a new initiative 'Break the Chain' was introduced by Government of Kerala.The campaign aims to educate people about the importance of public and personal hygiene. Under this campaign, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government has installed water taps at public spots such as at the entry and exit gates of the railway stations with hand wash bottles.[20]

On 19 March, Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a stimulus package of Rs 20,000 crore (€2.5 billion; $2.6 billion) to help the state overcome both the covid-19 epidemic and economic hardship caused by it. This includes Rs. 500 crore for healthcare, Rs 2,000 crore for loans and free rations, Rs 2,000 crore for creating jobs in rural areas, Rs 1,000 crore for families with financial difficulties, and Rs 1,320 crore for paying two months pensions in advance.[7][21] The government has also ordered salons and workout centres to shut down. This is in order to prevent the virus from spreading via direct contact.[22]

On 22 March, Health mister of Kerala, K. K. Shailaja strongly warned to people to follow the orders from Health department of Kerala.[23]

On 23 March, Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a statewide lockdown till 31st of march to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.Being strictly applied in Kasargod necessary shops like grocery stores were allowed to be opened till 11am till 5pm. And in other districts necessary shops were opened from 7 am till 5 pm with the exception of medical stores. Public transports were shut down. There was no restriction for private vehicles but district to district travels were only allowed with thorough checking.[6]

Quarantine[edit]

Kerala is the only state in India that mandates 28 days of home quarantine for those returning from countries affected by coronavirus, while the national guidelines for India is 14 days.[5][24] People who are advised home quarantine are advised to stay at their homes during the 28-day period, and report to healthcare authorities if they show symptoms of coronavirus infection.[25]

COVID-19 cases in Kerala, India  ()
     Deaths        Active cases

Jan Jan Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
2020-01-30
1(+1) (n.a.)
2020-02-01
1(+0) (=)
2020-02-02
2(+1) (+100%)
2020-02-03
3(+1) (+50%)
3(=) (=)
2020-03-08
8(+5) (+166.66%)
2020-03-09
8(=) (+0)
2020-03-10
14(+6) (+75%)
2020-03-11
14(+0) (=)
2020-03-12
19(+5) (+35.71%)
2020-03-13
22(+3) (+15.79%)
2020-03-14
22(+0) (=)
2020-03-15
24(+2) (+9.09%)
2020-03-16
27(+3) (+12.5%)
2020-03-17
27(+0) (=)
2020-03-18
27(+0) (=)
2020-03-19
28(+1) (+3.7%)
2020-03-20
40(+12) (+42.86%)
2020-03-21
52(+12) (+30%)
2020-03-22
67(+15) (+28.85%)
2020-03-23
95(+28) (+41.79%)
2020-03-24
109(+14) (+14.73%)
2020-03-25
118(+9) (+8.26%)
2020-03-26
137(+19) (+16.10%)
2020-03-27
176(+39) (+28.46%)
2020-03-28
182(+6) (+3.41%)
2020-03-29
202(+20) (+10.98%)
2020-03-30
234(+32) (+15.84%)
2020-03-31
241(+7) (+3%)
2020-04-01
265(+24) (+9.96%)
2020-04-02
286(+21) (+7.92%)
2020-04-03
295(+9) (+3.15%)
2020-04-04
306(+11) (+3.72%)
2020-04-05
314(+8) (+2.61%)
2020-04-06
327(+13) (+4.14%)
2020-04-07
336(+9) (+2.75%)
2020-04-08
345(+9) (+2.68%)
2020-04-08
357(+12) (+3.48%)
Cases: The number of cases confirmed in the Indian state of Kerala.
Sources: Directorate of Health's website.

Misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding coronavirus[edit]

Following the reports of coronavirus infection in Kerala, fake news regarding prevention, transmission and cure for coronavirus infection started circulating on the internet, particularly on the social media platform Whatsapp.[26][27]

One fake message claiming to be an advisory from UNICEF asks people to avoid ice creams to ensure that coronavirus cannot spread in temperatures over 27 degrees.[27]

T. P. Senkumar posted on social media that virus cannot survive in the hot and humid conditions in Kerala because the temperature there is over 27 degrees.[28] Another fake news recommends intake of vitamin C and drinking frequent sips of water as a preventive measure for coronavirus infection.[27]

Another post on Facebook claimed falsely that if someone takes a deep breath and holds their breath for more than 10 seconds without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no (COVID-19 caused) fibrosis in the lungs, therefore indicating no infection.[29]

The claim that the vibration generated by clapping together during Janata curfew will kill the virus was debunked by the media.[30] One viral message says that the lifetime of coronavirus is only 12 hours and staying home for 14 hours during Janata curfew break the chain of transmission. Another message claimed that observing Janata curfew will result in the reduction of coronavirus cases by 40%.[31]

Economic loss[edit]

Tourism industry is a major contributor to the state's economy. Following coronavirus confirmation in Kerala, there were waves of cancellations of hotel bookings and tour packages.[32] Liquor sales in Kerala is a public sector undertaking, through which the government earns a significant revenue. However, following the outbreak, the sales have gone down, directly hitting the economy. The state's economy is largely dependent on NRI remittances and the economic slowdown of affected Gulf countries is expected to have a direct impact.[33] KSRTC, Kerala's state-owned public transport system has reported losses worth crores due to reduced number of travelers.[34] The practice of social distancing has also brought down the numbers of those who go out on weekends or do shopping, thus affecting local traders and vendors.[35]

Timeline of events[edit]

January 30 January
  • 3 Cases: The first positive cases of coronavirus in India were reported from three students of Kerala origin, travelling from the Wuhan province of China, which was the point of origin of the disease.[3][36] They belonged to Thrissur, Alappuzha and Kasargod districts of Kerala and two of them were medical students at a University in Wuhan.[9][37] Following the detection of positive cases, the government of Kerala declared a 'state calamity warning'. Over 3000 contacts of the affected individuals were placed under quarantine, out of which 45 were placed in hospital quarantine.[9] The three positive individuals later recovered from the infection following hospital care.[38] The 'state calamity' warning was withdrawn after 4 days, when no further cases were reported. As China was a popular country for students from Kerala to pursue medicine, several medical students got stranded in China when the lock-down due to coronavirus was put into effect. Some of them, who were stranded in airports in China were evacuated and flown into Cochin International Airport and quarantined at isolation wards in Kochi Medical College.[39] However, none of them were later tested positive for the disease.
Total Cases (3)
Recovered (3)
Death (0)
March 8 March
  • 5 Cases : The positive cases were a couple and their 26-year-old son, who had returned to Kerala from Italy.[40] Two more people who had come in contact with the family also tested positive for the disease. They were kept under quarantine in Pathanamthitta General Hospital.[41] The family had evaded health check-ups and had visited several other places during the one week they had spent in Kerala.[42] Following this, the government issued a 'high alert'.[12]
Total Cases (238)
Recovered (21)
Death (2)
9 March
  • 1 Case : A 3-year-old child, who had returned with his parents from Italy tested positive.[10] The parents and the child were shifted to the isolation ward at Ernakulam Medical College.[12]
10 March
  • 8 Cases : Six individuals who were in contact with the family who had returned from Italy were confirmed to have the coronavirus infection. Four of the new cases were admitted at Kottayam and in Kozhencherry. The infected individuals were the grandparents of the affected couple, two from a family they had visited in Ranni and two relatives who picked the couple up from the airport.[18] Later, the parents of the 3-year-old infected child, who were put in isolation in Ernakulam Medical College tested positive, taking the total number of cases in Kerela to 17.[43]
12 March
  • 2 Cases : It was confirmed that two persons with travel history from Middle East tested positive for the virus. One, who is from Kannur, had a travel history to Dubai and the other, from Thrissur, had traveled from Qatar. On 13 March 3 people tested positive 1 Italian in Varkala and 2 persons in Trivandrum. No new cases reported on March 14.[44]
13 March
  • 3 Cases : Three more persons, a Keralite who returned from Dubai on Thursday after visiting many countries, including Italy; a tourist from Italy who was under observation at a private resort at Papanasam in Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram; and a Keralite who returned from United Kingdom were tested positive.[45]
15 March
  • 2 Cases : A foreigner from Britain who was staying in Munnar, and another a doctor in Trivandrum who had returned from Spain.[46] On 16 March, 3 more cases were confirmed by the Chief Minister of Kerala. One in Kasargod who had visited Dubai and two cases in Malappuram who went to Saudi Arabia bringing the total number of cases to 24.
16 March
  • 3 Cases : Three cases have tested positive; one in Kasaragod and two in Malappuram. All the three are said to be Gulf returnees.[47]
19 March
20 March
21 March
22 March
23 March
24 March
25 March
26 March
27 March
28 March
29 March
30 March
31 March
April 1 April Total Cases (116)
Recovered (73)
Death (0)
2 April
3 April
4 April
5 April
6 April
7 April
8 April
9 April

Statistics[edit]

List of confirmed patients in Kerala
Date (2020) District(s) Origin Cases Type of Transmission Source(s)
New Total
Jan-30 Alappuzha, Kasargod, Thrissur Wuhan 3 3 T [40]
Mar-9 Pathanamthitta Italy 3 8 T [41][10]
2 PTP
Mar-9 Ernakulam Italy 1 9 T [18]
Mar-10 Pathanamthitta (4), Kottayam (2) Italy 6 17 PTP [43][44][79]
Ernakulam 2 T
Mar-12 Kannur, Thrissur Qatar, UAE 2 19 T [80]
Mar-13 Thiruvananthapuram Spain, UK 3 22 T [81][54]
Mar-15 Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki None 2 24 T/PTP [79]
Mar-16 Kasargod (1), Malappuram (2) Saudi Arabia, UAE 3 27 T [81][82][83]
Mar-19 Kasargod None 1 28 T/PTP [79][54]
Mar-20 Ernakulam (6), Kasargod (6) Middle East 12 40 T/PTP [83]
Mar-21 Ernakulam (3), Kannur (3), Kasargod (6) Middle East 12 52 T [51]
Mar-22 Ernakulam (2), Malappuram (2), Kannur (4), Kasargod (5), Kozhikode (2) Middle East 15 67 T [51]
Mar-23 Ernakulam (2), Kannur (5), Kasargod (19),Pathanamthitta (1), Thrissur (1) UAE 25 95 T [84][52]
3 PTP
Mar-24 Alappuzha (1), Ernakulam (1), Kasargod (6), Kottayam (1), Kozhikode (2), Malappuram (1), Palakkad (1), Thiruvananthapuram (1) Qatar, UAE, UK 12 109 T [54]
None 2 PTP
Mar-25 Ernakulam (3), Idukki (1), Kozhikode (1), Palakkad (2), Pathanamthitta (2) UAE, UK, France 6 118 T [56]
None 3 PTP
Mar-26 Idukki (1), Kasargod (3), Malappuram (3), Thrissur (2), Wayanad (1) Middle East 10 137 T/PTP [59]
Kannur UAE 9 T
Mar-27 Kasargod (34), Kannur (2), Kollam (1), Kozhikode (1), Thrissur (1) UAE 25 176 T [61]
None 14 T/PTP
Mar-28 Kasargod (1), Kollam (1), Palakkad (1), Malappuram (1), Thiruvananthapuram (2) None 6 182 T/PTP [63]
Mar-29 Ernakulam (1), Kannur (8), Kasargod (7), Malappuram (1), Palakkad (1), Thrissur (1), Thiruvananthapuram (1) UAE 18 202 T [65][64]
None 2 PTP
Mar-30 Idukki (2), Kannur (11), Kasargod (17), Wayanad (2), Middle East 17 234 T [67][66]
None 15 PTP
Mar-31 Kannur (1), Kasargod (2), Kollam (1), Thiruvananthapuram (2), Thrissur (1) None 7 241 T/PTP [68]
Apr-1 Kasargod (12), Ernakulam (3), Thiruvananthapuram (2), Thrissur (2), Malappuram (2), Kannur (2), Palakkad (1) Middle East 9 265 T [70]
None 15 T/PTP
Apr-2 Idukki (5), Kannur (1), Kasargod (8), Kollam (2), Kozhikode (1), Malappuram (1), Pathanamthitta (1), Thiruvananthapuram (1), Thrissur (1) Qatar, UAE 12 286 T [71]
None 9 T/PTP
Apr-3 Kannur (1), Kasargod (7), Thrissur (1) None 9 295 T/PTP [72]
Apr-4 Alappuzha (1), Ernakulam (1), Kannur (1), Kasargod (6), Kollam (1), Palakkad (1) UAE 5 306 T [73]
Delhi (3), Nagpur (1) 4 T/PTP
None 2 T/PTP
Apr-5 Kozhikode (5), Pathanamthitta (1) UAE 1 314 T [74]
Delhi 4 T/PTP
Kannur (1), Kasargod (1) None 3
Apr-6 Kasargod (6), Pathanamthitta (1) Abroad 7 327 T [75]
Malappuram (2), Kollam (1) Delhi 3 T/PTP
Kasargod None 3
Apr-7 Kannur (3), Kasargod (4), Kollam (1), Malappuram (1) Overseas 4 336 T [76]
Delhi 2 T/PTP
None 3 PTP
Apr-8 Kannur (4), Alappuzha (2), Pathanamthitta (1), Thrissur (1), Kasargod (1) Overseas 4 345 T [77]
Delhi 2 T/PTP
None 3 PTP
Apr-9 Kannur (4), Kasargod (4), Kollam (1), Malappuram (2), Thiruvananthapuram (1) None 11 357 PTP [78]
UAE 1 T

COVID-19 daily graph by total number of cases, recoveries and death[edit]

COVID-19 daily graph by source of infection[edit]


2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kerala by district
District Active cases Recoveries Deaths Total cases
Kasaragod 136 6 0 143
Kannur 50 29 0 79
Malappuram 14 4 0 18
Kozhikode 9 5 0 14
Ernakulam 8 15 1 24
Pathanamthitta 8 8 0 16
Thrissur 7 6 0 13
Palakkad 7 0 0 7
Kollam 7 1 0 8
Thiruvananthapuram 5 9 1 15
Idukki 3 7 0 10
Alappuzha 3 2 0 5
Wayanad 1 2 0 3
Kottayam 0 3 0 3
Total (all 14 districts) 258 97 2 357
As of 9 April 2020[85]


Confirmed deaths of Keralites[edit]

Details for COVID-19 cases who died in Kerala (As of 8 April 2020)
Case order Age Gender District Hospital admitted to Been to other country Status Note
1 69 Male Ernakulam Government Medical College, Ernakulam UAE Died on 28 March The patient had a travel history to Dubai. He was admitted to the hospital on March 22 with pneumonia symptoms and later tested positive for coronavirus. He was also suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure and had undergone a bypass surgery earlier.[86]
2 68 Male Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram No Died on 31 March The patient was on ventilator support for five days. He had suffered cardiac arrest and paralysis attack while on the life support system. Until now, it is not clear how he had contracted the disease. He had no recent history of foreign travel and according to close relatives, had not come into contact with infected persons.[87][88]
Details for Keralites COVID-19 cases who died outside Kerala (As of 8 April 2020)
Case order Age Gender Native Country (Death) Status Note
1 57 Male Kottayam Milan, Italy Died on 19 March The patient hailing from Kadamanchira near Changanassery was working as a nurse in Milan.[89]
2 63 Male Kannur Mumbai, India Died on 1 April The patient of Thalassery native who was a resident of Saki Naka, near Andheri died at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar after being admitted for four days by experiencing fever and severe throat pain.[90]
3 67 Male Thrissur Dubai, United Arab Emirates Died on 1 April The patient of Kaipamangalam native contracted the disease while undergoing treatment at the Rashidiya Hospital, Dubai for other ailments.[91]
4 80 Male Malappuram London, United Kingdom Died on 1 April The patient of Perintalmanna native died in London. He was a doctor worked in West Midlands.
5 43 Male Pathanamthitta New York, United States Died on 1 April The patient hailing from Elanthoor was admitted to the hospital after experiencing severe fever. He was an employee at New York Metropolitan Transport Authority and was working at transit and was hospitalized following corona virus infection.[92]
6 85 Female Ernakulam New Jersey, United States Died on 2 April The patient was a native of Ramamangalam village near Piravom.
7 28 Male Kannur Medina, Saudi Arabia Died on 4 April The patient hailing from Panoor died at Saudi German Hospital, Medina.[93]
8 52 Male Idukki New York, United States Died on 5 April The patient native of Thodupuzha died in the most effected state in the United States, the New York City.[94]
9 58 Female Kottayam Drogheda, Ireland Died on 5 April The patient of native to Kuruppanthara died while undergoing treatment for cancer. She was working as a staff nurse in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.[95]
10 65 Female Pathanamthitta New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient hailing from Chengaroor, Thiruvalla earlier served as a nurse in Dubai for several years.
11 61 Female Ernakulam New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient was a native of Palachuvadu near Piravom.
12 21 Male Pathanamthitta New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient was a student residing at Elmont, New York and native to Thiruvalla.[96]
13 38 Male Malappuram Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Died on 6 April The patient hailing from Tirurangadi was admitted to Saudi German Hospital in Riyadh four days prior to his death after suffering from severe fever.[97]
14 51 Male Idukki New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient hailing from Muttom, Thodupuzha was an employee at New York Metropolitan Transport Authority and a resident of Queens, New York.[98]
15 70 Male Kollam New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient native to Kottarakkara was working in a hospital and was admitted after experiencing severe headache.[99]
16 72 Female Kollam London, United Kingdom Died on 6 April The patient hailing from Odanavattom near Kottarakkara was admitted to St George's Hospital in London for about a month following a stroke and in between she contracted the disease.[100]
17 37 Male Kannur Ajman, United Arab Emirates Died on 6 April The patient of Kolathur native was manager of Talal Supermarket in Ajman.[101]
18 36 Male Kannur London, United Kingdom Died on 6 April The patient hailing from Velimanam, Iritty was working as nurse in the country.[102]
19 Female Alappuzha New York, United States Died on 6 April The patient was a native of Chengannur.[103]
20 84 Male Pathanamthitta New Jersey, United States Died on 7 April The patient was a native of Thiruvalla.[104]
21 52 Female Alappuzha New Jersey, United States Died on 7 April The patient hailing from Karuvatta had been residing in the country for past 8 years.
22 80 Female Idukki New York, United States Died on 8 April The patient was a native of Karimkunnam, Thodupuzha died in Hyde Park, New York.
23 21 Male Kozhikode Texas, United States Died on 8 April The patient native to Kodenchery got contracted the virus from hospital.[105]
24 82 Male Thrissur New York, United States Died on 8 April The patient died in the Rockland County.
25 64 Male Pathanamthitta Philadelphia, United States Died on 8 April The patient hailing from Kozhencherry was working as a traffic controller in the country.[106]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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