Kerala Covid-19 cases: Kerala reported 20,624 new Covid cases and 80 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to health bulletin on Saturday. Presently, positivity rate stands at 12.31%. The state reported 16,865 recoveries during the same period. With this, the active cases in Kerala has now gone up to 1,64,500.

This is the fifth day running when the southern state had registered over 20,000 new cases in a day. On Friday, Kerala had reported 20,772 cases and 116 deaths in a span of 24 hours.

Earlier in the day, state health minister Veena George said that Kerala was not yet free from the second wave of Covid and therefore people should be extra cautious and vigilant against transmission of the infection to prevent a third wave from occurring.

The minister also said that about half of the population of Kerala was susceptible to Covid and therefore, precautions have to be taken as presence of the highly contagious delta variant has been detected.

George today chaired a special meeting to review the state’s preparedness to handle a third wave. During the meeting, she said people need to take precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing and isolation till the majorityof the populace is vaccinated.

The minister said if a third wave hits before the vaccination reaches everyone, the severity of the infection and those requiring hospitalisation would be high. Once vaccines are available in sufficient quantities, immunization would be carried out on a war footing, she said, adding that the health department was well equipped to handle the same.

The after the meeting, the government informed that ensuring oxygen availability and treatment facilities in the event of a third wave was also discussed. It was also decided to utilise funds available under central and state government schemes, Corporate Social Responsibility and donations by voluntary organisations to set up oxygen generation units.

George directed the Kerala Medical Services Corporation to ensure that 33 oxygen generation units, which will produce 77 metric tonnes of oxygen, set up in different parts of the state, are made operational by August itself.

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