Thiruvananthapuram: The government had formed 20 mobile teams to visit the remote tribal hamlets, and houses of 636 bedridden patients in Wayanad to achieve this feat. Wayanad has become the first district in Kerala to complete the administration of the first dose of vaccine to all above the age of 18 years.
The speciality of Wayanad district is that it has got a more tribal population and I do appreciate all health workers who were involved in the vaccination process and are still engaged in the process in the best possible way," State home minister Veena George said.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who arrived in Kerala with a central team on Monday to review the COVID-19 situation in the state, said the Centre has allocated Rs 267.35 crore to the state to strengthen its health infrastructure and will also provide it 1.11 crore vaccines in August and September. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state Health Minister Veena George, Mandaviya said that besides the Rs 267.35 crore an additional Rs one crore would be made available to each district of Kerala for creating a medicine pool. He also said that the central government has assured all possible help to Kerala, including providing vaccines to the state.
Later the Kerala Public Relations Department (PRD) said that the Union Minister assured that the central government will take steps to provide 1.11 crore urgently needed vaccines to the state to combat COVID-19 as was requested by the CM. Mandaviya also tweeted that the "Central Govt will ensure creation of a Center of Excellence that caters to Telemedicine Facilities in every district in Kerala. For prioritising the health of children, paediatric ICU to be established in district hospitals with a 10 kilo-litre liquid oxygen storage tank facility." After the meeting with the Kerala CM and Health Minister, Mandaviya also met Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
Giving details of the meeting between the central team, the CM and state health minister, the PRD in a statement said that starting of a vaccine manufacturing unit at the Bio Park in Thiruvananthapuram was discussed and the Union Minister said such an establishment would be beneficial as both COVID and other vaccines can be produced there. During the meeting, the CM said that 56 per cent of the population was still unaffected by COVID and therefore, more people were likely to get infected in the coming days and in such a scenario the only way out was to vaccinate everyone, including one million guest workers, which is why more vaccines are needed, the PRD statement said. He further said that in August, 18 crore vaccines were produced with 20 crore more to be manufactured in September and Kerala will get the number of doses it deserves and any additional demands would be considered sympathetically. He also said that more attention should be paid during Onam and that those who are in home quarantine should be monitored separately. Mandaviya and the central team visited Kerala at a time when it was accounting for more than half of the nation's daily fresh infection caseload. Kerala on Sunday reported 18,582 new COVID-19 cases, which was more than half of the national total of 32,937 fresh coronavirus cases.