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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 1.22 AM IST

First vaccine dose given to over 90 percent of eligible persons in Kerala: Health Minister

veena-george

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to over 90 percent of the people eligible for vaccination in Kerala, Health Minister Veena George said on Monday and urged people not to be averse to getting inoculated.

The minister, while speaking to reporters, said that a majority of the people who died due to COVID-19 were those who were unvaccinated and therefore, no one should be averse to getting both jabs of the vaccine.

She also said that more than five districts have administered the first dose to nearly 100 percent of the people there and other districts are also close to reaching that milestone.

Asked why the government was not mentioning the Total Positivity Rate anymore, the minister said that a decision was taken on the basis of experts' advise that after more than 80 percent of the people here get the first dose of vaccination, further steps would be taken on the basis of Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR).

The minister further said that with the state having passed the severe stage of the second wave, in the present situation people are being requested to scrupulously follow the COVID-19 safety protocols like wearing of masks and social distancing.

She also said that people should avoid public gatherings and if possible, also avoid public events.

Any public event held in the state should conform to the restrictions imposed by the government with regard to the number of attendees, she added.

The minister said that the government has increased the number of RT-PCR tests as nearly 75 percent of the people showing up for tests are asymptomatic. Besides that, awareness campaigns are going on and a sero prevalence study is also being conducted as part of the state's efforts to control spread of COVID-19.

She said the sero prevalence study would be completed by the end of September and once its results are available, further course of action would be decided.

On the issue of reopening of schools, she said that everyone was expressing the view that they should be reopened and therefore, both the health and education departments would be holding a meeting to decide what should be done. Kerala on Monday reported 15,692 fresh COVID-19 cases and92 deaths, taking the caseload to 45,24,185 and fatalities to 23,683. The number of people who recovered from the infection since Sunday was 22,223 which brought the total recoveries to 43,32,897 and the number of active cases to 1,67,008.

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