Kerala

Don’t drop caution at home: CM

Diligent vehicle-checking by the police to ensure compliance with travel curbs resulted in traffic jam at Palayam in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.   | Photo Credit: MAHINSHA S

COVID-19 is spreading in a major way within families and there are innumerable family clusters across the State. An attempt should be made to check this and all those who go outside homes should take special precautions within homes when interacting with other family members, especially young children and the elderly, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

The virus is airborne, which means that its transmissibility is much higher.

Addressing the media here on Friday, he said the COVID situation was such that common interactions within homes, as during meal times or prayers, should be minimised or avoided. Those going outside homes should wear double masks at home. Houses should also be kept well-ventilated, he added.

Why lockdown

He said the State was forced to declare a lockdown as COVID disease transmission was going far above the predictions of experts and there was no other way to ensure the safety and welfare of the people. The tremendous rise in case numbers was also threatening to breach the State health system’s surge capacity, he said.

“However, the case graph is not going to come down as soon as the lockdown is declared and it will take at least a week before the impact of the lockdown begins to show up as a reduction in new cases.”

Mr. Vijayan said the State had readied a good surge plan ahead and had doubled the number of ventilators and ICUs in the government sector. The oxygen position in the State was adequate at present.

The State had 6,008 bulk cylinders in storage, 21,888 ‘B’ type cylinders, and 119.7 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in tanks. The State had oxygen stock of 220 metric tonnes, while the daily utilisation of oxygen had risen to 111.49 metric tonnes now.

He, however, warned that if disease transmission continued at this pace, no preparations by the State would be enough to cater to the rising number of patients.

Vaccination

With acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccine continuing in the State, the government would not be able to offer vaccination to the 18-45 year age group in one go, Mr. Vijayan said. Depending on the availability of vaccines, priority could be given in vaccination to those with other diseases or chronic conditions in the 18-45 age group, he said.

Though the State had decided to purchase one crore doses of vaccine for vaccinating the 18-45 age group, there had not been much progress in this endeavour. A small part of the quantity asked by the State was expected to be delivered this month and this would be distributed on the basis of priority.

Meanwhile, the engagement with the Centre to secure more vaccine stocks for the State would continue, he added.

The government would soon come out with a decision fixing the treatment rates for COVID in the private sector, as directed by the Kerala High Court. Mr. Vijayan said the government was grateful to the High Court for intervening in the issue.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:03:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/dont-drop-caution-at-home-cm/article34509789.ece

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