Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the rise in cases in the state is a matter of concern. "The central government is providing the vaccines for those over 45 as per the new vaccine policy. We have 1.13 crore people in this age group and 2.26 crore doses are required for their vaccination."
"Vaccination of people over the age of 45 should be completed as soon as possible to reduce the mortality rate happening as part of the current outbreak of Covid. We have requested the central government to make available the vaccine that is due for Kerala at the earliest," Vijayan told reporters.
The Chief Minister also underlined the need for prioritising the vaccination of those in the 18 to 45 age group from the vaccine ordered by the state as there is not enough stock for everyone to be vaccinated in one go.
The Local Self Government Department should work with the Health Department to make arrangements for vaccinations, without overcrowding of people, he said.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan said there was a problem with the delay in getting the RTPCR test result. "Antigen kits that provide good results are now available. At this stage, it will be better to do RTPCR tests only on those who are suspected of having the disease despite a negative antigen test result. ICMR has issued new guidelines in this regard," he said.
The chief minister also said any decision on extending the lockdown in the state will be taken towards the end of the week, depending on the situation.
At present, there are 4,32,789 persons under treatment across Kerala even as 34,600 patients recovered from the disease today. Ernakulam district has the highest number of 6,410 new positive cases followed by Malappuram district with 5,388 and Kozhikode district with 4,418.
At the press conference, the Chief Minister also offered his felicitations to the nurses on the occasion of International Nurses Day.
"Kerala would like to express its gratitude and congratulations to the nurses around the world who are at the forefront of the fight against the Covid pandemic, even at the risk of their own lives. They are working tirelessly for the safety of the people."
"Their contribution to the effective implementation of the COVID defence in Kerala is invaluable.
As a community, nurses need more support from everyone and we have to ensure that," he said.