COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the district with 99 people diagnosed with the disease on Thursday. Among the fresh cases, 94 patients contracted the disease through local transmission. Three persons who came from other States and two from abroad also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Of the total contact cases, 39 were reported from Pattanakkad and another 25 from Chettikkad in Mararikulam South grama panchayat. The Chettikkad COVID-19 cluster, in particular, is turning out to be a major cause for concern. Between July 31 and August 6, at least 96 cases were reported from there. M.G. Laiju, vice president, Mararikulam South grama panchayat, said the local body had so far logged 191 COVID-19 cases. Of this, the Chettikkad cluster accounted for 80% of the cases.
Rest of the contact cases were reported from Alappuzha (6), Pallippuram (4), Ambalappuzha (4), Thumboli (3), Vayalar (2) and Pallithode (2) and one case each were from Kayamkulam, Panavally, Arookutty, Chethi, Aryad, Pallana, Vandanam and Perumbalam. The five patients who came from other States and foreign countries hailed from Chengannur, Peringala, Kandalloor, Arattupuzha and Thanneermukkom.
Thirty persons who were undergoing treatment for COVID-19 tested negative for the disease on the day. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the district stands at 961.
Wards 1 and 16 in Alappuzha municipality, wards 2 and 15 in Punnapra North and wards 1 and 21 in Chettikulangara grama panchayat were declared as containment zones. District Collector A. Alexander issued an order directing to close Valiya Market in Alappuzha to tackle the spread of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a COVID-19 review meeting attended by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac decided to increase the number of tests in the district. The Minister said that coastal areas of the district should maintain utmost caution in view of the spread of the disease.