Health Minister Veena George said preparations for a possible third wave has begun in the state.

Veena George at her office
news COVID 19 Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 11:17

Kerala Health Minister Veena George has called for extreme vigil to minimise the risk of the COVID-19 infection as the state witnessed crowding during pre-Onam shopping. Offices and establishments have reopened in the state on August 24 after Onam, the biggest festival of Kerala. The minister said that the coming four weeks are crucial for the state.

"It's during the COVID-19 time that Onam was celebrated. Lockdown isn't possible all the time. The government is trying to protect life and livelihood alike. Hence the curbs on shops and business establishments were reduced with instructions to strictly follow the COVID-19 protocol. While some have followed it, there was crowding at several places," the minister said in a Facebook post on Monday, August 24.

Onam celebrations in the state which began on August 21 ended on August 24. The state witnessed crowding at almost all shopping centres and market places as people rushed for pre-Onam purchase. The minister said that various regions face the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant and that there is threat of the third wave. "Hence extreme vigil should be there when offices and establishments are reopened after Onam holidays," she said.

Kerala still continues to report a high number of COVID-19 cases. The state on August 24 recorded 13,383 new cases with a test positivity rate of 15.63%.

“The Health Department has begun the preparations foreseeing a possible third wave. Intensive Care Unit and oxygen beds are being arranged at hospitals from the taluk level. The number of ventilators too has increased. The ICUs of district and general hospitals will be linked to medical college hospitals. Paediatric treatment facilities have increased as the possible third wave would mostly affect children,” the minister said. The paediatric facilities arranged are 490 oxygen beds, 158 High Dependency Unit beds and 96 ICU beds.

The Health Department has convened an emergency meeting on August 25 to assess the situation. 

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