Suspected samples of passengers coming from countries specified in the central guidelines would be sent for genetic testing for virus variants, the Health Minister said.

A woman being vaccinated, Kerala govt urges people to exercise caution, get vaccinated amid concerns on Omicron variant Image for representation/PTI
news Coronavirus Saturday, November 27, 2021 - 18:10

The Kerala government on Saturday, November 27 said a vigil has been sounded in the state in view of the presence of Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, reported abroad. However, as of now, there is no cause for concern in the state. Health Minister Veena George said the state has taken all precautionary steps as per the guidelines of the Union government and surveillance would be strengthened in all airports. Urging everyone to follow the COVID-19 guidelines strictly, she also said those who have not been vaccinated yet should take the jab at the earliest.

The Health Department conducted review meetings and preventive measures have been strengthened based on that. According to the central guidelines, all passengers arriving in the country from abroad should undergo an RT-PCR test within 72 hours and upload it in the concerned portal. 

Those coming from the countries mentioned in the central guidelines would be closely monitored, the Health Minister said, adding that such people should take the RT-PCR test again at the state airports. The suspected samples of the passengers coming from these countries would be sent for genetic testing for virus variants, she added.

On Friday, November 26, Kerala reported 4,677 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths, taking the total number of affected people in the state to 51,12,789 and the official death toll to 39,125. Among the districts, Ernakulam reported the highest number of cases at 823, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 633 and Kozhikode, 588. Active cases stood at 49,459, out of which only 7.2% have been admitted in hospitals, the health department said in a release. Recoveries numbered 6,632, taking the total recovered persons in the state to 50,35,384.

A total of 56,558 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and there are 21 wards across 19 local self government bodies in the state with a weekly infection population ratio above 10%, the release said. Out of those found infected on Friday, 16 reached the state from outside. Thirty three health workers were also among the infected, the release said.

Watch: What we know about the new coronavirus variant in South Africa | Omicron

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