Kerala General Education Minister V Sivankutty on Monday, January 17, said schools with over 500 students will turn into COVID-19 vaccination centres from January 19 for the children studying there in the age group of 15 to 18 years. Sivankutty, after a meeting with the higher officials of the General Education Department, said all necessary arrangements have been put in place for the vaccination drive in the schools.
He also added 8.14 lakh students in Kerala are eligible for vaccination and more than half of them have already been vaccinated. The inoculation of children between the age of 15-18 began on January 3. "The education department will arrange the facilities for vaccination. One room for registration and another for vaccination. One room will be arranged for the health workers while there will be a resting room for students after vaccination. There will be a facility to arrange an ambulance in case there is a need for any," Sivanakuty told the media.
He said the schools with less than 500 students should urge the children to go to the nearest health centre for vaccination. Sivanakutty said the consent letter from the parents was compulsory for vaccination and directed the school authorities, staff, PTA officials and the students to strictly adhere to the action plan formulated by the department. He also informed that classes 1 to 9 will be online from January 21.
Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID-19 cases continued to rise sharply in Kerala with the state reporting 22,946 fresh infections on Monday, January 17, taking the total caseload to 53.92 lakh, a health bulletin said. The state Health Department said the growth rate of new virus cases has shot up by 182% compared to the number of cases reported in the previous week (January 10 and 16).
"Currently, there are 1,21,458 active COVID-19 cases in the state out of which only 3.7% require hospitalisation," the state government said in a press release. Among the districts, Thiruvananthapuram recorded 5,863 cases, the highest in the state, followed by Ernakulam with 4,100 cases and Kozhikode with 2,043 cases.