No looking back on mass vaccination: Kerala health minister

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 22, 2021

Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja

Vaccination camps can become hub for spread of Covid-19, warns IMA

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has said that there is no looking back on the State government’s ongoing mass vaccination policy and has ignored Indian Medical Association’s warning of vaccination camp sites turning into potential hubs for propagation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMA’s warning comes in the light of shortage of Covid -19 vaccine in the state leading to heavy rush being observed at the vaccination centres during the last few days. It fears that this would only help further compound the situation worsened by a raging second wave of the pandemic.

Available vaccine supplies need to be streamlined to rule out unmanageable crowding. Covid testing should be increased to one lakh daily, so that infectious people can be isolated expeditiously. It should also be ensured that contact tracing is conducted efficiently, and quarantine norms are not violated.

IMA feels that it is the mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 which have intensified the transmission. But the State needs to conduct more scientific studies to generate evidence to support and prove this hypothesis. It was important also from the clinical point of view to understand what doctors are likely dealing with.

Clinical data not shared

It regretted that the State has not responded favourably to the persistent demands for sharing clinical data pertaining to the first wave. Nor has it done any clinical or academic research on the virus, IMA State Secretary P Gopikumar and Vice-President N Sulphi said. This is disappointing, they said.

IMA also requested the government to re-examine its decision of postponing MBBS and PG Medical exams. The government should have instead explored the options of conducting the exams in a safe manner so that these junior doctors could be deployed in the field in the fight against Covid-19.

Explosive growth in cases

The IMA also called for stringent measures like micro-containment and curfew for the next two weeks to contain the spread of the pandemic, and on May 2 when the results of the Assembly elections will be announced.

It attributed the current explosive growth in infections to the total laxity on the part of each and every citizen in observing the mandatory Covid-19 protocols, what with the numerous massive rallies called by various parties leaving hardly any scope for compliance with them.

In the light of this, the IMA demanded that the government strictly ensure that no celebrations or victory parades are conducted in the state on the counting day, office-bearers of the IMA said. It is advisable that curfew-like conditions are declared in the ahead of counting day, they opined.

Published on April 22, 2021

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