Kerala will stick to 14-day quarantine, says Shylaja

Public told to ensure that those with respiratory infection stay in home isolation

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has said that those coming to the State from abroad or other parts of the country should mandatorily undergo 14-day home quarantine, since the possibility of disease transmission in the State has gone up in the wake of Onam celebrations.

The State has decided to continue with the quarantine stipulation, despite the Union government relaxing the norm in August.

The Minister said on Friday that because of the easing of lockdown restrictions during Onam last week, disease spread is likely to increase in the next two weeks. The Health Department has asked the public to ensure that anyone with respiratory infection stay at home in isolation and that in the event of any further symptoms should take follow-up action after contacting DISHA helpline (1056).

They should wear a mask when staying home,the Minister said.

(Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Thursday said that the people had thrown all caution to the wind during the Onam festive season, crowding in markets and other public places and there were increased social interactions.

The impact of Onam on disease transmission would become evident only in the next two weeks when all those who might have had exposure to the virus become symptomatic or test positive.)

Ms. Shylaja emphasised the importance of maintaining physical distance and other precautions and reducing social interactions to keep oneself from contracting COVID-19.

Considering the high test positivity in all districts in the last week of August, ranging between 6.8 and as high as 17.1 in Malappuram, the Health Department has asked all districts to launch campaigns so as to encourage people “to change behaviour in a sustainable and practical way,” so that they minimise their chances of contracting COVID-19.

The department has also asked districts to organise mass campaigns to convince people about the importance of staying home in isolation, if at all anyone experiences even a mild respiratory infection.

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