High vigil advised during festival season

Threat posed by new UK variant of virus cannot be dismissed: Minister

The Health Department has asked the public to maintain a high state of vigil as COVID-19 cases are already on the rise in the State and Christmas and New Year celebrations can lead to further amplification of the virus in the community.

The threat posed by the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is said to be 70% more transmissible, cannot be dismissed, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said in a statement here .

The local body poll campaigning began in the State right at the time when COVID-19 cases began showing a downward trend in the State. The active caseload in the State, which had gone up to 97,000 plus cases in the last week of October, had been brought down to 57,000 by December 14. However, after the polls, as predicted by experts, cases are on the rise again.

The State has already witnessed a surge in cases after Onam celebrations. Hence the public should take more care to keep themselves safe during the Christmas and New Year celebrations and all religious functions should be performed strictly as per the COVID protocols, the statement said.

Do not ignore symptoms

While maintaining all precautions such as masking and physical distancing, people should not ignore any flu-like or respiratory symptoms that they may develop and should seek immediate medical attention and go into self quarantine without delay

People should avoid all congregations and celebrations in public places and use three-layered cloth masks or N-95 masks.

People who go shopping should take all precautions and maintain physical distancing with others and clean their hands occasionally. They should take care to avoid touching their face and should not engage in conversation with people by lowering the mask.

During home celebrations also, outside visitors should be kept to the minimum. Visitors should be asked to keep their masks on and not to interact with the elderly or those with heart/renal ailments in the house.

People who are visiting Kerala from other States or from abroad should undergo COVID testing if they are staying in the State for more than seven days.

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