CM wants to increase COVID-19 tests to one-lakh a day
The State government has decided to tighten COVID-19 protocols and all control measures now that the case graph is rising steadily.
A review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Wednesday said that the relaxations in control measures and the general laxity among the public had led to the sudden increase in cases and that the situation was likely to go out of hand if stringent measures were not put in place again.
The Chief Minister directed that the daily tests be increased to one-lakh and that 75% of the tests be made RT-PCR. Everyone in migrant labour camps and workplaces such as cashew factories should be tested.
Mr. Vijayan directed that COVID protocols be enforced strictly when public functions were held and that physical distancing and use of masks be implemented strictly. The police would be deployed to monitor this. Sectoral magistrates who are in charge of COVID controls will continue their monitoring with the help of police. Wedding celebrations and gatherings should not have more than 100 persons.
The controls in containment zones would be made more stringent and by mid-February the State should be able to reduce disease transmission significantly, the Chief Minister said.
It was pointed out that according to a study done at the community medicine department at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, 56% persons contracted the disease within their homes, the infection brought in by others from outside. Another 20% contracted the disease from shopping malls or markets and 20% from workplaces.
About 65% of the infected were not using masks properly and that asymptomatic spread accounted for 30% of the infections. The meeting decided to empower newly formed local bodies to take up COVID control and to strengthen awareness programmes. Health Minister K.K. Shylaja and senior officials were present at the meeting.
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