In fact, the undercounting factor may be even lower for Kerala, given that the survey does not differentiate between antibodies from natural infections and vaccinations. “Given that the vaccination rate was higher in Kerala at the time of the fourth survey, it is possible that this under-counting factor may be slightly overestimated for Kerala compared to India,” he wrote in The Wire.

Vaccinations in Kerala

The state is also a leader in terms of vaccinations, administering at least one dose to over 42% of its population and fully vaccinating nearly 18%. Uttar Pradesh, which leads in terms of the total number of doses administered, has at least partially vaccinated under 20% of its population, below the national average of 28.6%.

Kerala has also prioritised vaccinations in priority groups, especially among those above the 45. Nearly 70% of its 21.3 million doses of vaccines administered so far have been in the category of those above 45 years, often considered more susceptible to hospitalisations because of Covid-19.

Festivals in Kerala

But the state has also been critiqued for lifting lockdown restrictions too soon and allowing festivals and public celebrations to take place despite a raging second wave.

For instance, it eased restrictions during Eid celebrations in July, for which India’s supreme court asked the state to explain its decision. For the upcoming Onam festival, Kerala has asked its residents to exercise caution and adhere to strict Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Kerala will need to be vigilant if it wants to keep the pandemic in check. “The hospitalisations and deaths now represent infections from sometime before, so I would not necessarily take solace in the fact that they are low right now,” Dr Swapneil Parikh, a Mumbai-based physician, told the BBC. He warned that the test positivity rate was consistently high and is “still a cause for worry.”

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