Kerala to strengthen tele-medicine facility as Covid cases stay high

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that Covid cases continue to remain high as 37,190 people turned positive after 1,42,588 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.

The day also saw 26,148 people turn negative, taking the total cured in the state to 13,39,257, while there were 3,56,872 active cases.

“Consequent to the increase, we feel that the concept of tele-medicine consultation has to be strengthened in the wake of the surge and we request all TV channels to set aside adequate time for such programmes. The state-supported Victers Channel will be used for this,” said Vijayan.

He also pointed out that studies have said that the test positivity rate in Kerala which remains high, at 26.08, will continue to rise and hence, utmost caution has to be maintained, while another study pointed out that 50 per cent spread took place within the homes.

“The only way is to stay indoors as far as possible. If one remains indoors, a Japanese study says the spread was brought down by 60 per cent. Hence we also should abide by that. We have now directed that all those essential offices which needs to be open will function with 25 per cent staff. Absolute caution has to be maintained by all. The slightest indication of a cough, sneezing and cold should see that all at home, should wear masks and the concerned person should undergo the Covid test,” said Vijayan.

He added that the state government is doing its best to increase the surge capacity of the state to tackle the present spread and the state-owned KTDC hotels will be kept ready if a need arises.

“It is our duty to see that this surge is kept at the least because if it is not, we will find it difficult to handle the cases. So it is our social responsibility to see that we do not do anything which will increase the surge. The private health sector has also been asked to provide Covid treatment,” Vijayan said.

He said at present there are around 3.7 lakh of doses of vaccines with the state.

“One thing what is laudable is we were given 73.38 lakh doses of vaccine and as per the law a 10 per cent excess is provided as a cover for breakages. But since our health professionals handled it with care, we were able to provide for over 74 lakh doses,” said Vijayan.

He said that they are expecting to get another 4.75 lakh doses in a fresh supply.

From Tuesday till Sunday, the state is presently under a semi-lockdown mode with the police out in the streets, fining people who come out without a valid reason.

A fine of Rs 56 lakh was levied on over 27,000 people who broke Covid protocols on Tuesday.