THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move to apparently encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said anyone not following COVID-19 prevention measures, like vaccination, will not be provided free treatment.
The CM, in a COVID review meeting, said the government will not pay for the treatment of those who become COVID positive without receiving the vaccine, according to a release issued by the state government.
Those who are unable to get vaccinated due to diseases, allergies, etc. should produce a government doctor's certificate, he said. He further said that the health department has been directed to organise a special vaccination drive from December 1 to 15 in the state and District Collectors have been asked to make preparations for the same.
The CM also said that teachers and staff of educational institutions who have not taken both doses of the vaccine due to any illness or allergies, must produce a government doctor's certificate or they should get vaccinated before taking classes.
If they do not get vaccinated, they will have to get a negative RT-PCR test every week at their own cost, he said and added that these directions were being issued to ensure safety of the students going back to school and colleges.
These directions would also apply to employees working in offices and public places, he said in the meeting according to the release.
Earlier in the day, state Education Minister V Sivankutty said that any teacher who is not vaccinated would not be allowed to enter the campus and would have to conduct online classes.
He said the norms cannot be relaxed for a small percentage of teachers and if they have any illness or allergies which prevent them from getting vaccinated, they will have to produce a doctor's certificate.
In the review meeting, according to the release, Vijayan also said that representatives of local self-government institutions have to make serious efforts to ensure everyone receives both doses of the vaccine.
He also said that children with disabilities will be allowed to attend schools, there will be no change in school timings for now and no further concessions in view of the change in the situation -- reports of a new coronavirus variant called Omicron.
In view of the new variant of coronavirus, he has directed strengthening of the vigilance, including strict checking of travel history of those arriving from abroad, in the state and ensuring adherence to the COVID protocols without any lapse, the release said.