‘Transmission had been slow in State, resulting in a larger pool of susceptible people’
Even when the State has managed to reduce the COVID-19 active caseload by 5% in the past one week, the fact that the number of new cases reported daily is not reducing is an indication that more serious interventions are needed to bring down disease transmission, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said here.
Addressing the media here on Friday, Mr. Vijayan pointed out that from an active caseload of 72,392 cases on January 28, the State has managed to bring down the active cases to 68,857, as on Thursday.
Testing had also been increased significantly for the past two days. Kerala managed to exercise tighter controls on disease transmission throughout the pandemic and if more cases were being reported now, it was because the disease transmission had been slow in the State, resulting in a larger pool of susceptible people, he said.
Mr. Vijayan said the relaxations allowed by the government did not mean that COVID-19 had ended and that any laxity in COVID protocols could alter the disease trends dramatically.
He said disease transmission was now taking place within families and that unless an infected individual maintained strict room quarantine protocols, the entire family could become infected.
As COVID transmission happened faster in closed spaces, special care should be taken inside homes, offices, and shops and there should be no relaxation on masking at all times.
Mr. Vijayan said people generally seemed to believe that children would not be seriously affected by COVID-19. However, if the disease transmission went up, then the proportion of children affected would also increase and some children ended up suffering the long-term complications caused by COVID-19, which were often life-threatening. Hence, people should desist taking children to crowded environs or public places, he said.
Kerala was fast completing the COVID-19 vaccination of all registered health-care workers in the State and the category would be fully covered by the first dose of the vaccine by next week. Next week, vaccination of the front-line workers, including field health workers, anganwadi workers, and police and revenue officials would commence and the process was expected to be completed within a few weeks.
In the third phase, the vaccination would reach the public, when persons above 50 years with co-morbidities would be administered the vaccine.