Kerala

Next three weeks crucial: Veena

Health Minister Veena George has said the rise in disease transmission, leading to an increase in daily cases, is just a small surge in the epidemic curve which has been remaining on a plateau after the second wave peaked in May second week.

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, she said while this cannot be seen as the beginning of a third wave, the next three weeks in the run up to Onam festival would be extremely crucial when the State as well as the community would have to maintain utmost vigil to ensure that the current rise in disease transmission did not become a resurgent wave.

With over 50% of the State’s population still remaining susceptible to the infection, according to the ICMR sero prevalence study, vaccination was the only way out for the State’s current predicament, Ms. George said.

She said this phase of disease transmission, when the number of daily cases and test positivity rate (TPR) would go up and remain at a sustained level, was expected post lockdown. This was especially so, since the second wave had started much later in the State than it had in rest of the country.

The sero prevalence study by ICMR shows that the State’s COVID containment had been effective, which resulted in a significant proportion of the population remaining protected from infection even now. But as delta virus variant is highly transmissible, increasing the pace of vaccination is the only way ahead to protect those who are remaining susceptible to the virus, she said.

Vaccination, even if it does not prevent infection, reduces the severity of COVID. Despite the current surge in cases, ICU and hospital occupancy had not gone up in the State, which is why, the focus has to shift to vaccinating and protecting the people

The State had increased COVID testing and strengthened contact tracing, with the help of local bodies and the police so that disease transmission could be checked, she added.


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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 2:24:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/next-three-weeks-crucial-veena/article35613538.ece

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