THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One of the Keralites who had returned from Russia on November 28 has been tested positive for Covid. The Ernakulam native was part of the 24-member group that had returned after their holiday in Russia. The infected person was not subjected to an RT-PCR test at Kochi airport, which was a violation of the Central government’s travel policy for international passengers.
The Central government on November 26 had rolled out its advisory making RT-PCR test and one-week home quarantine mandatory for international passengers arriving from high-risk zones, including Europe, after the Omicron variant of Covid was detected in several countries. However, only four of the group members were subjected to RT-PCR test at Kochi airport, while the entire group was not informed that they had to remain in quarantine at home for a week.
Sources said the individual, who was tested positive, had developed physical uneasiness towards the last stage of the Russia sojourn. There were 30-members in the group and the RT-PCR test was conducted at Murmansk, a city in northwestern Russia, on November 25 and the result came the next day. After the test, the group took a flight to Moscow, where they spent a night before leaving for Kerala via Sharjah. At Sharjah airport, there was a layover of about two hours.
“There was a flight time of three hours from Murmansk to Moscow. They stayed overnight in Moscow and then spent another four hours in Moscow airport, which is very crowded. You never know who could infect what in such a long journey,” sources said
Emergence of new covid variant gives state’s vax drive new push
T’Puram: COVID vaccination in the state has picked up momentum after the emergence of the Omicron variant in different countries, Health Minister Veena George has said. A total of 6.25 lakh doses were administered in the last four days, compared to 4.4 lakh given in the four days prior to that. Demand for first dose and second dose jumped by 60% (57,991) and 41% (5.67 lakh), respectively. More than 96% of the eligible population in the state has received the first dose while 65.5% has taken both doses. Veena said the health department has a stock of 8 lakh doses. The state aims to complete the second-dose vaccination during its 15-day campaign launched on Wednesday.