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54 more Omicron cases reported in Kerala; all above 18 in state given first dose of vaccine

Over five crore doses have been given to people belonging to various categories and it was significant to achieve this feat at a time when the pandemic is surging, Health Minister Veena George said.

Published: 21st January 2022 07:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2022 07:26 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala Coronavirus

Health workers collect swab samples for COVID-19 tests in Kozhikode. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala on Friday reported 54 more Omicron, a variant of coronavirus, and took the total affected by the variant to 761, said the State Health Department.

Of the 54, one, belonging to Karnataka, came to Kerala from the UAE.

"Out of those infected today, 35 were from low-risk nations and seven from a high-risk country. One patient reached the State from outside it and 11 contracted the disease through their contacts," the department said in a press release.

Of these, eight are from Thiruvananthapuram district, six each from Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kannur, five each from Kollam and Kottayam, four from Alappuzha, three from Kozhikode, two from Palakkad and one each from Wayanad and Kasaragod, said the department.

Out of the 761 patients so far, 518 arrived from low-risk countries and 115 from high-risk nations.

A total of 99 people in Kerala contracted the disease through contacts while 29 people came from other States, it added.

A day after the Kerala government imposed fresh restrictions to contain rising COVID-19 cases in the State, Health Minister Veena George on Friday said 100 per cent of the targeted population above the age of 18 years have been given the first dose of vaccine and 83 per cent of the total population given both doses.

Over five crore doses have been given to people belonging to various categories and it was significant to achieve this feat at a time when the pandemic is surging, she told reporters here.

"The goal was achieved through a special vaccination drive keeping in focus the third wave of the pandemic. The vaccine doses have been allotted by the Centre after calculating the population above the age of 18 to be 2,67,09,000," George said.

Also, she urged those yet to receive the jab to get vaccinated soon.

Stating that in the wake of the spread of the infection, the cases reported in offices and institutions have been increasing and a cluster management formed to tackle this.

An infection control team (ICT) should be formed in all institutions and offices and selected team members should be trained on the guidelines to be followed there.

If more than 10 people are down with COVID-19, the area becomes a larger cluster.

The institution or office may be closed for five days on the advice of the local health authorities only if there are more than five clusters with over 10 infected people, George said.

Institutions and offices should be open wherever possible and closure should be considered only a last resort, she added.

Stressing the need for no anxiety or fear over the rising cases, she said only three per cent of the total 1,99,041 active cases are using hospital facility now-a-days.

The State government on Thursday imposed fresh restrictions as a preventive measure to contain the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

A review meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan virtually from the United States, said only essential services should be allowed on the next two Sundays -- January 23 and 30.

The meeting decided also to allow working women with children below the age of two, cancer patients and seriously ill to work from home.

It directed institutions including businesses, malls, beaches, and other tourist places like theme parks to ensure nil crowding and operate by adhering to COVID-19 protocols.



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