Kerala govt urges frontline workers and elderly people to take COVID booster vaccine

On average, 7,000 COVID-19 tests are being done in Kerala every day, and there were 474 active cases as of December 30, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.
People getting the COVID-19 vaccination
People getting the COVID-19 vaccination
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The Kerala government has asked people above the age of 60, people with comorbidities and frontline workers to urgently take a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The direction was issued after a review meeting headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday, December 30. On average, 7,000 COVID-19 tests are being conducted in the state every day, said Health Minister Veena George. There were 474 active cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Friday, with 72 of them admitted in the hospital, including 13 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The state COVID-19 monitoring cell resumed functioning a few days earlier, in light of concerns over the surge in COVID-19 cases in a few countries including China. The Kerala government had decided to conduct whole genome sequencing of more samples to identify different variants of the coronavirus, in line with the Union government’s directions. As per the instructions of the Union government, samples of two per cent of the people coming from abroad are being tested currently.

Oxygen plants are available in every district hospital, said a release from the Chief Minister's office on Friday. Instructions have been given to the Kerala Medical Services Corporation to make available the required quantity of masks, medicines, and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, the CMO said. The state has also asked the Union government to make precautionary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available.

After the COVID-19 monitoring cell was reopened, guidelines were released by the Rapid Response Team for the public. People have been advised to wear masks in crowded places, public places and air conditioned rooms. CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that a lot of caution must be exercised, as experts have said that the BF.7 variant driving the surge in China is highly transmissible. The local self-government officials should also be alert, along with the health department officials, he said. The Chief Minister added that care will be taken to ensure that the guidelines issued by the Union government on handling COVID-19 will be followed.

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