Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is still recovering from the second wave of COVID-19, so people should be extra cautious and vigilant against infection transmission to avoid a third wave, Health Minister Veena George said on Saturday.
According to a state government release, George stated at a special meeting to review the state’s preparedness for a third wave that approximately half of Kerala’s population was susceptible to the virus and that precautions must be taken because the presence of the highly contagious delta variant has been detected.
She advised people to take precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance and isolation until the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
According to the minister, if a third wave hits before the vaccination reaches everyone, the severity of the infection and the number of people who need to be hospitalised will be high.
Immunization would be carried out on a war footing once vaccines were available in sufficient quantities, she said, adding that the health department was well equipped to handle the situation.
She also advised taking precautions after being immunised.
According to the release, the meeting also discussed ensuring oxygen availability and treatment facilities in the event of a third wave.
It was also decided to use funds available through central and state government schemes, corporate social responsibility, and voluntary organisation donations to establish oxygen generation units.
According to the release, George directed the Kerala Medical Services Corporation to ensure that 33 oxygen generation units, which will produce 77 metric tonnes of oxygen, are operational by August.
The minister also directed department heads to ensure that COVID medical supplies are stockpiled in medical colleges and other medical facilities.