Kerala’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign to make all tourist spots completely risk-free will cover Alappuzha, Munnar, Fort Kochi, Kovalam, Kumarakom, and Varkala.

WayanadImage for representation (Pixabay / majeednm)
news COVID-19 Friday, July 30, 2021 - 16:20

Vythiri in Wayanad district has become the first tourist destination in Kerala where everyone is vaccinated at least by one dose, as part of the state's COVID-19 vaccination campaign to make all tourist spots completely risk-free for visitors, the government said on Thursday, July 29. It became the first holiday hub where the entire population, including tourism sector stakeholders, have been inoculated under the initiative, according to a release.

"In the post-pandemic phase visitors will be looking for safe and hospitable places to spend time. The government considers it as vitally important to administer COVID-19 vaccine to the entire stakeholders in all the destinations across the state," the state’s Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyas said in the release. According to officials, people aged 45 and above have been administered both the doses of vaccine, while everyone in the age group 18-44, have been administered first dose.

Rolled out on mission mode to keep the whole of Kerala ready to receive visitors when the pandemic recedes, the inoculation drive has picked up momentum in all destinations including hill stations, backwater hubs, seaside holiday spots and heritage and cultural tourism centres across the state.

The Tourism Minister had earlier this month announced the initiative.

An eco-tourism hotspot located 700 metres above sea level in Wayanad and 60 km from Kozhikode, Vythiri had its entire population, including tourism service providers, vaccinated during an intensive inoculation drive held from July 13-17.

Wayanad, sharing borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, is a major tourist haven in south India, known for its scenery and congenial ambience.

"Blessed with unsurpassed natural beauty, Wayanad has immense tourism potential. We have major plans to develop the area as a hub for a rich mix of holiday and leisure activities including adventure tourism," the minister said.

V Venu IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Department, said the vaccination campaign was picking up well as it is being conducted on a mission mode.

"Along with the Tourism Department, the industry bodies and employee forums and local communities are actively involved for its success," Venu said.

In the tourism segment alone, 5,395 people were administered the first dose of the vaccine during the campaign organised by the Tourism Department in Vythiri with the support of the Health Department, district administration and the industry bodies.

The inoculation drive was conducted by the doctors and paramedical staff of Vythiri Taluk Headquarters Hospital and Sugandhagiri Primary Health Centre.

The campaign is being rolled out across the state to the service providers connected with the travel and hospitality industry including employees of hotels, resorts and home-stays, tour guides, taxi and autorickshaw drivers and traders in tourism centres.

Major centres to be covered by the initiative include Alappuzha, Munnar, Fort Kochi, Kovalam, Kumarakom, and Varkala.

Also read : Quaint Kumbalangi to scenic Vagamon: Five places near Kochi for a weekend getaway

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