Thiruvananthapuram: The rising cases of COVID-19 in Kerala could be due to the presence of the Omicron variant of the virus, said Dr GS Vijayakrishnan, the President of Kerala Government Medical Officers Association on Tuesday.
He also said that the state has a limited facility for RT-PCR tests and it is shifting to antigen testing.
"Rapid growth in COVID-19 cases could be due to the presence of the Omicron variant. Cases are increasing in an exponential manner. Within 15 days, our test positivity rate reached 30 per cent from the baseline of 4.5 per cent. We have a limited facility to do RT-PCR tests and we are shifting to antigen tests. RT-PCR tests are pending for the last 4-5 days," Dr Vijayakrishnan told ANI.
Vijaykrishan said that one thing positive during the current outbreak in the state is that the condition of a very small per cent of patients testing positive for the virus are turning serious.
He, however, said that if severe cases increase, it will become a burden on the healthcare system and death rates may also increase.
"Health care workers, including doctors are testing positive. People should be more vigilant. They have to be in their houses, we have to restrict our movement to cinemas and malls. More doctors are testing positive for the virus, this will affect the health care delivery in Kerala.
Vijaykrishnan talked about the worsening situation in the Thiruvananthapuram district, where the test positivity rate is about 48 per cent. "At the earliest, Trivandrum needs to have more restrictions regarding people visiting closed places and travelling. We have to take some preventive measures in offices like keeping rooms open, ventilated and proper use of masks etc," he added.
He said that the next one month is very crucial for Trivandrum, Kerala and India as a whole.
Vijaykrishnan said that in the current COVID-19 scenario, the state is doing fine in terms of medicines except there is a shortage of an antibody cocktail.
"Nowadays, bed occupancy is very less. ICU, Oxygen and isolation bed occupancy are very less. At present, it is fine. But in coming days, there will be issues if there is a rapid increase in cases," he added.