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Central team expresses satisfaction over State’s COVID-19 containment measures: Veena George

The team had also expressed happiness at the progress made in COVID-19 vaccination by the State, Veena George said.

The two-member Central team which had toured three districts in the State to assess Kerala COVID-19 containment has expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the State has been managing containment as well as patient-care activities.

The team had expressed full satisfaction over the State’s basic health infrastructure, including hospital facilities for patient care as well as clinical management of COVID patients, according to an official statement issued by the Health Minister Veena George on Thursday.

The team, including Ruchi Jain, Public Health specialist at the Office of the Regional Health and Famiuly Welfare and Vinod Kumar, Pulmonary Medicine consultant at JIPMER Puducherry, had toured Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta and had visited the General Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam Government Medical College and General Hospital at Kolenchery. They had also interacted with senior health officials before they held gave their final comments to the Health Minister.

Speaking to the media, Ms. George, said that the Central team has expressed satisfaction over the State’s COVID containment measures and the new strategies for disease transmission control adopted by the State.

“According to the team, Kerala need to have no apprehensions over the test positivity rate, which has consistently remained over 10% since the past few weeks. The epidemic curve in the State is on a long plateau and the second wave is continuing in the State as disease transmission is sustained at a low level as it did during the first wave, because of the strong containment measures adopted by the State,” Ms. George told the media.

The fact that the State could manage to tide over the peak of the second wave without breaching the health system’s capacity and without ending up with oxygen supply shortage or scarcity of ICU beds is a major achievement of the State, according to the Central team, she said.

They had also expressed happiness at the progress made in COVID vaccination by the State, she added.

Ms. George said that she had appealed to the Central team to provide the State 90 lakh additional doses of vaccine in July, as the State has the highest proportion of the population still susceptible to COVID. Also, Kerala has the capacity to administer 2.5-3 lakh doses of vaccines daily. Hence, the Centre should consider providing vaccines in bulk to the State so that the vaccination process can be completed fast, she pointed out.

She said that unless the people at an individual level took the utmost precautions and reduced social interactions, reduction of TPR from the current levels would be impossible. Though the government has lifted lock down and taken away many restrictions on civil life, people needed to exercise maximum self restraint, keeping in mind that the second wave of COVID was continuing in the State.

Those who interacted with the Central team included the Principal Secretary (Health) Rajan N. Khobragade, State Mission Director, National Health Mission Ratan Kelkar, the Director of Health Services V. R. Raju and other senior officials of the State Public Health wing.

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