Kerala Health Minister Veena George said in the Assembly here on Monday that it was possible that a more transmissible mutant virus variant could emerge in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State and that those who had not been vaccinated could be more susceptible to serious disease and death.
The government was trying to get everyone in the State vaccinated as fast as possible. Children, who had not been vaccinated at all, could remain vulnerable in the third wave and hence, the government was paying special attention to augmenting paediatric treatment facilities across the State, she said.
It was as part of the State’s preparation for the third wave that special measures were being taken to vaccinate all chronically ill and bed-ridden persons and those on palliative care. Steps were being taken to supply the vaccine to camps of migrant labourers as well, the Minister said.
Testing would be intensified to find new COVID positive cases and if new case clusters were discovered, strict restrictions in movement would be imposed to control disease transmission, Ms. George said, in reply to questions by Linto Joseph, C.K. Hareendran, N. K. Akbar and P. S. Supal.
The government would facilitate spot registration at vaccination centres for those who need to travel abroad, Ms. George said.
Those travelling abroad would have to produce their visa and passport at the vaccination centre. All district medical officers had been instructed to make vaccines available to them, she added.
Those travelling abroad did not require online registration on the CoWin portal, while for all other categories, online registration was compulsory for receiving vaccines.
Mandatory online registration was a decision made by the Centre. This had become necessary to avoid crowding at vaccination centres, the Minister added.