Kerala Minister V Sivankutty said an expert committee is keeping a watch on things and they will be taking the call as and when required if the educational institutions need to be closed.

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty
news Coronavirus Thursday, January 06, 2022 - 15:17

Despite a spike in new COVID-19 cases in Kerala, state Education Minister V Sivankutty on Thursday, January 6 said no decision has been taken at the moment to close down educational institutions. "Right from the day we decided to open educational institutions till now, we are always keeping a close tab on the numbers of Covid cases. An expert committee is keeping a watch on things and they will be taking the call as and when required if the educational institutions need to be closed. At the moment we are not going to close down educational institutions," he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala on Wednesday logged 49 fresh cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19, taking the total number of infections to 230, and the daily case number spiked to 4,801, the health department said. In the past two days, the test positivity rate has increased to more than 6 per cent. Of the 49 patients, seven came from high-risk countries while 32 reached the state from low-risk countries. Ten persons contracted the new variant through their contacts, according to a department release.

Most number of Omicron-infected people came from UAE, Qatar and the UK. Other countries include Ukraine, Canada, Ghana, Spain and the US. "Till now, a total of 141 people have reached the state from low-risk countries while 59 have reached from high-risk countries. Thirty people have contracted the disease through their contacts," the release said.

As of January 4, with the Omicron variant cases in Kerala touching 181, a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday decided to clamp more restrictions. 

Consequent to this, with immediate effect, all functions which include marriages and such events should not have more than 75 people take part when conducted indoors and in outdoor events, the gathering should not exceed more than 150.

It was decided to lift the night curfew (10 pm to 5 am) which was in place for the past five days.

Another decision taken was to ensure that very strict screening will take place at all the four airports in the state as a huge majority of the Omicron cases was reported from those who came from abroad.

Pinarayi informed the meeting that by now 80 per cent of the Kerala population aged above 18 have taken both the doses of vaccines.

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