With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many foreign countries, the Kerala government on Wednesday sounded an alert of a possible spread of the virus and directed the district authorities to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples for tracking the new variants.A meeting of the Rapid Response Team chaired by state Health Minister Veena George also urged people to wear face masks to cover their mouth and nose as it is a key measure to reduce transmission of virus and save lives.
“Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. All unvaccinated individuals should be vaccinated and those who have not taken the backup dose should do that. Thorough medical examination of people with symptoms should be done and genome sequencing will be strengthened to monitor new variants,” the minister’s office said in a statement.
The meeting also decided to strengthen the awareness activities and directed the health officials to monitor the hospital admissions regularly.The officials have also been directed to increase the facilities in the hospitals for treating Covid patients.The statement said only 1,431 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state so far in December and there are very few patients under treatment in hospitals.
It, however, warned that the people should be more careful as the transmissible rate of the new variant is very high.Earlier, addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government has decided to intensify measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the southern state.Vijayan urged people to take steps to protect themselves from getting infected by the virus, although COVID-19 cases are less in the state.
The Chief Minister also reminded the public that the lessons learned during the peak period of COVID-19 cases in the state should be followed to deal with the virus.Vijayan advised people not to ignore fever, cold and sore throat, and not to be in close contact with people who have symptoms of COVID-19.
Several cities in China, including capital Beijing, have been facing a growing number of coronavirus cases attributed to a new variant of the Omicron strain with reports of overcrowded hospitals and shortage of beds.