Health Minister Veena George
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is aiming to inoculate everyone above 18 years of age with the first dose of COVID vaccine by September end and directions have been given to all districts to formulate vaccination plans.
The directions were issued by state health minister Veena George in an emergency meeting of her department that was held to review the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the state and to ensure vaccination of as many people as possible, according to a post on her Facebook page.
In the meeting, the minister directed that special care should be taken to avoid delay in administration of vaccines and said the issue of shortage of syringes was being addressed. She said, according to her FB post, that the Centre has promised 1.11 crore vaccines to the state and more doses will be available as soon as possible. She also said post Onam the number of coronavirus cases was expected to increase and therefore, hospitals need to be equipped to deal with any such situation. Besides, in anticipation of a third wave of COVID-19, arrangements are being made to deal with that by setting up oxygen beds, ICUs and ventilators in hospitals at the district level, she noted.
Since it is expected that the third wave may affect children more, as they are yet to be vaccinated, the minister said special attention will be given to their treatment for which paediatric wards and ICUs are also being set up. In addition to all this, oxygen availability was being ensured and emphasis will also be placed on non-COVID treatment, her post said. She also stressed that care should be taken to minimise the mortality rate and those in home isolation should make sure they follow the guidelines exactly. Those with serious illnesses and under home isolation should be identified and proper medical treatment be provided to them. Testing was also being maximised and if anyone who attended a public event was found COVID positive everyone who was there would be tested, she said. Those with COVID like symptoms or in contact with anyone who tested positive have to be examined and people should avoid self medication, she added.