Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja speaking to ANI on Sunday (Photo/ANI)
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja speaking to ANI on Sunday (Photo/ANI)

Kerala denies underreporting COVID-19 death cases, says follows scientific testing method

ANI | Updated: Oct 11, 2020 22:18 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 11 (ANI): Rejecting reports that Kerala was underreporting COVID-19 death cases and carries out a lower number of testing, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Sunday said that those are fake media reports and are baseless.
Speaking to ANI, Health Minister KK Shailaja said that Kerala had never underreported COVID-19 deaths and have a scientific testing strategy in place.
"We are adopting scientific methods for COVID-19 testing in the state from the beginning itself. Our policy is to give priority to the symptomatic cases and also to the vulnerable people including high-risk cases. Only the increase in the number of testing is not responsible for the increase in the number of cases," she said.
Shailaja said that Kerala never conducted tests just for the sake of testing and said it is not a good practice to do so.
"We can test the symptomatic, suspected, vulnerable, and high-risk people and the primary contacts. That is the method adopted by Kerala. There is no need to test all citizens. When the clusters were formed here we increased the testing which gave good results," she said.

Health Minister also criticised certain media reports that she alleged were not based on facts.
"Everyone is trying to bring down the COVID-19 situation under control including other states in the country. Countries like the UK are looking forward to bring in lockdown and some places in the US that have witnessed high mortality rate has imposed restrictions. But at this time of a pandemic to blame Kerala without any facts to substantiate it by certain media are only fake news," she said.
Shailaja also said that the imposition of section 144 in Kerala in October could see results in coming months. "The health department is confident to bring down the rate. But it will happen only with the support of people. People have to follow COVID-19 advisories issued by the health department and we can unitedly defeat the disease," the State Health Minister added.
According to the Kerala Health Department, COVID-19 was confirmed in 9,347 persons in the State today while 8,924 patients have recovered from the disease.
This is the highest single-day number of recoveries so far. 8,216 were cases of local transmission and the source of infection for 821 was unknown. 105 healthcare workers were among those infected through contact.

Meanwhile, as many as 61,629 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. A total of 35,94,320 samples have so far been sent for testing, including 2,12,896 samples from priority groups as part of Sentinel Surveillance. (ANI)