Kerala health minister warns of spike in cases within 3 weeks

Health Minister Veena George

Pathanamthitta: Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Saturday said the COVID clusters in the state were increasing and warned that there are chances of a rapid spread of coronavirus within the next three weeks.

George, who met the media here, said there are currently 78 COVID clusters in the state.

"There are chances that within the next three weeks, the COVID-19 cases in the state will witness a major spike. There is a chance of rapid spread of the virus in the state. Every day, the COVID-19 cases are increasing in the state. There are Delta, Omicron variants on top of that," George said.

The minister said the health department will ensure that COVID-19 protocols are being followed by the political parties, including ruling CPI(M).

The health department and the Left party was under attack from various quarters, including the ruling party supporters, following the recent Thiruvathira dance performance which was held as part of the district meet of the CPI(M). The health department later registered a case against the organisers for violating COVID protocols.

George said the government was planning to reopen the COVID-19 First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs) across the state. "We have already asked the district collectors to look into the possibility of reopening the CFLTCs," she said.

The minister also informed that 51 per cent of children in the age group of 15 to 18 received the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

"A total of 7,66,741 children received the vaccine. Thrissur district vaccinated the most number of children - 97,458," she said.

The vaccination for children of the particular age group started on January 3 and the inoculation was conducted through special drives in schools.

A total of 1,67,813 persons received the booster dose in the state, the minister said, adding that it includes 96,946 health workers and 26,360 front line workers and 44,507 persons above the age of 60.

The health department had earlier in the day said 99.68 per cent (2,66,24,042) of the targeted population (18 years and above) of the state have received the first dose of vaccine whereas 82.27 per cent (2,19,73,681) received both the doses. PTI

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