PATHANAMTHITTA: Health Minister Veena George has said there is a high chance of more children getting infected if there is a third wave of Covid than in the first and second waves in the state. Addressing the meet the press programme here on Friday, she also said the health department has asked all district medical offices (DMOs) to send reports to add the names of people who have died of Covid but do not figure in the state’s toll. “The district officials have requested for two-three days for adding such names,” she said.
“We have not yet overcome the second wave. The state saw the peak of the second wave on May 12 when 43,000 cases were reported. After the beginning of the unlock process, there has been a slight increase in new cases as expected. The health department is mainly trying to reduce new cases during the second wave and strengthen preventive steps.”
Kerala has witnessed the lowest number of Covid cases in the first and second waves of the pandemic in the country, she claimed. The state has a high population density. Besides, the number of senior citizens as well as diabetes patients is also high. These factors are a challenge. “Since the number of active Covid patients and recovered people is very less, the state still has a huge number susceptible individuals who are yet to be exposed to the virus. We need to complete vaccinate all before a possible third wave hits. We target to give both doses of vaccines to all people above 45 years of age within two months.” She said the health officials had a meeting with the central team online and the latter has expressed satisfaction over the Covid preventive activities of Kerala.
“We have also requested the team to ensure sufficient vaccine doses for the state. We don’t want vaccines in tune with our population, but in proportion to the susceptible population,” Veena said.“As part of preparations to meet the third wave, the government has directed all hospitals having over 50 beds to set up oxygen plants. The government plans to set up at least 36 oxygen plants in its hospitals,” she said.
14 ZIKA +VE CASES, BUT NO NEED TO PANIC: MIN
Pathanamthitta: Health Minister Veena George said there is no need to panic over the Zika virus infection being reported in the state and people should only be extra cautious as it is a mosquito-borne disease. “The health department sent 19 samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and 14 people, including health workers, tested positive till Thursday,” Veena said. “We have chalked out an action plan for preventing the spread of the virus. The important thing to do is to execute vector-control activities. We should avoid giving breeding facilities to mosquitoes, including in our garden and homes,” she said.
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