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Kerala health minister Veena George on Friday said while Covid cases have slightly increased in the state, there is no need for concern as no new variant has been found. The Covid infections are that of the omicron variant.

The minister held a high-level review meeting to take stock of the Covid-19 situation at the district and state levels. She said that we have to live with Covid and laid emphasis on the compulsory wearing of masks.

The minister said that those who are due for the second dose and booster shot should take it promptly. Health workers should be taking the booster dose she said and directed officials to ensure awareness campaigns.

“More Covid cases are reported in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam districts. Those with symptoms should get tested,” she said.

The minister said that as the number of Covid cases has reduced, many are reluctant to take the second and precautionary doses calling it “dangerous”. She said that one should take the doses at the correct interval for maximum benefit.

Noting that Covid-related deaths have been reported among those who were not vaccinated or who have co-morbidities, the minister said, those with co-morbidities should get tested for Covid immediately if they report any onset of symptoms.

Although 100 per cent of those above 18 are vaccinated with the first dose, 88 per cent have taken the second dose and only 22 per cent have taken the precautionary dose.

Among those in the age group of 15- 17, 83 per cent have received the first dose and 55 per cent have received the second shot.

Of those in the 12 -14 age group, 54 per cent has been vaccinated with the first dose and 15 per cent with the second dose.

Field workers will be entrusted to collect data on those who are not vaccinated at the local level. The minister warned that as schools have reopened, all measures will be taken to vaccinate all children in consultation with the education department.

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