No new COVID variant detected in Kerala: Health Minister

Veena George | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Health Minister Veena George has informed that there is no need to worry over the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. She pointed out that most of the COVID-19 patients are infected with the Omicron variant. She added that new variants of coronavirus were not detected so far in the state.

“ We must prepare ourselves to live with COVID-19. Everyone must wear a mask. Efforts must be taken to protect bed-ridden patients and aged people from the infection. Those who have to take the second dose and precaution dose of the vaccine should take it without any lapse. Health workers must take precaution dose,” asked the minister.

The health department will take initiative to create awareness about COVID-19. The health minister has given directions for the same in a high-level meeting chaired by her here on Friday.

The review meeting also examined the COVID situation in each district across the state.

The highest number of COVID-19 cases are reported in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam. People in these districts are advised to stay alert. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms must undergo a test.

The meeting also reviewed the progress in COVID-19 vaccination. With the fall in COVID-19 cases, many people are hesitating to take their second dose and precaution dose. This practice is likely to turn the situation worse. It is examined that the number of unvaccinated and people with other ailments is higher among the people who succumbed to the virus.

So far, 100 per cent of people above 18 years took the first dose and only 88 per cent of them took their second jab. To date, only 22 per cent of people received the precaution dose.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent of children in the 15-17 age group took the first dose and 55 per cent took the second dose. Among the children belonging to the 12-14 age group, only 54 per cent received the first dose of the vaccine and 15 per cent took the second jab.

The minister informed that field workers will be deployed to collect the data on unvaccinated people in each locality.

“ Vaccine will be given to all children. Vaccination drive for children will be carried out in association with the education department,” pointed out the minister.

She also alerted the public to exercise caution over the Nipah virus outbreak and rabies cases.

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