Kerala

Vaccination drive to be hit as only 5.5 lakh doses remain

Kerala’s health system is well-prepared to deal with any exigencies that might arise even as the COVID-19 case graph is rising in the State, Health Minister K. K. Shylaja said here.

Talking to the media here on Saturday, Ms. Shylaja said that the rise in cases and the pressure it would create on the health system had been well-anticipated and that the State had planned adequately to manage the huge influx of patients.

The State would continue the policy of home care and isolation for those COVID patients without symptoms. Those with mild or moderate symptoms would be treated at the COVID second line treatment centres (taluk and district hospitals), while those with serious symptoms would be treated at the medical colleges.

Patients who do not have facilities for proper home isolation would be accommodated at the domiciliary care centres, which would be opened in all panchayats with the help of local self-government bodies

The mass testing drive and mass vaccination drive are strategies that the State Health Department has devised for effectively managing the pace of disease transmission in the second wave. Ms.Shylaja said that more patients were expected in the second wave in the State as a significant proportion of the State’s population had remained immune during the first wave of COVID.

The Health Minister said that she had participated in a meeting called by the Union Health Minister to discuss the COVID-19 situation in States.

Though the State wanted to vaccinate as many people above 45 years, as fast as possible, vaccine shortage continued to be a major issue defeating the State’s strategy.

Till now, the State has received about 60.54 lakh vaccines. Having covered 51.5 lakh people with one dose and 6.72 lakh with both doses, the State now has close to 5.5 lakh doses remaining in its stock. Unless the Centre delivers another 50 lakh doses, the vaccination drive would be disrupted, the Minister said.

Though there is no situation of oxygen or drugs shortage in the State, as the number of patients increase, the Centre would have to step in to help the State meet any crisis.

Ms. Shylaja said that the Chief Minister and the core committee chaired by the Chief Secretary were closely watching the COVID situation and planning ahead. Careful management, effective containment strategies and ‘Break the Chain’ campaign can help Kerala withstand the second wave also, she claimed.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 3:57:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ready-to-deal-with-rising-covid-cases-shylaja/article34344947.ece

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