Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 25 September 2021 4.11 PM IST

'About half of the population is at risk, presence of delta variant'; Health Minister urges people to be extra vigilant to prevent third wave


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Health Minister Veena George has urged all to be extra vigilant in view of the expert opinion that there could be a third wave in the state if extreme caution is not taken as the spread of Covid disease is severe.

"The state has not completely recovered from the second wave of Covid. About half of the population is at risk and there is the presence of a highly contagious delta virus. The health situation in the state will worsen if the third wave occurs before the vaccination reaches the majority. Hospital admissions will also be much higher," the minister said. The Health Minister reminded that although steps are being taken to make the vaccine available to as many people as possible on a war footing, everyone needs to protect themselves through masks and social distance until the vaccine reaches them. People must take necessary precautions even after getting vaccinated.

During the second wave, the state did not experience a shortage of oxygen. A special review meeting chaired by Health Minister discussed the possible difficulties that will be related to the availability of oxygen in the event of a third wave.

The Health Department is setting up oxygen generation units in the state to ensure oxygen availability and treatment facilities in the event of a third wave. These are being prepared with the help of funds, including centralized schemes. The minister directed the Medical Services Corporation to make 33 oxygen generation units in different parts of the state operational by August itself. In this way, the state will be able to produce an additional 77 metric tonnes of oxygen.

The meeting also assessed the progress of the construction of 38 oxygen generation units being constructed by the state government using various funds. In view of the increase in Covid cases and the third wave, the minister directed the department heads to ensure the stockpiling of Covid medical supplies in medical colleges and other medical centers.

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