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Why Kerala accounts for half of India's new COVID cases

Elderly and diabetics, delta variant, international arrivals could be key factors

NEW DELHI -- India's southern Kerala state, which was lauded for its efficient handling of the coronavirus pandemic early on, is currently battling a rise in daily infections, accounting for more than half of the country's new cases at a time when the devastating second wave of COVID-19 is ebbing nationwide.

The picturesque state, with a population of about 35 million, reported India's first case in January 2020 in a female medical student who had returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic originated. It soon adopted a strategy of testing, tracing and isolating and was largely successful in preventing the spread of infections during the first wave.

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