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With a new and more deadlier variant of COVID-19 – C.1.2 – being detected in several countries, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said special arrangements will be made at airports to screen visitors from those nations. Visitors from countries where the new variant has been detected will be subjected to RT-PCR tests on arrival here and if necessary, they would be quarantined, the CM said in the COVID review meeting. In the meeting, he further said that only RT-PCR testing will be carried out in the six districts — Wayanad, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Kasaragod — where the vaccination is 80 per cent complete or is close to 80 per cent, according to a state government release.
It further said that the CM also directed increasing the number of RT-PCR tests in all districts.In the meeting, it was also decided to distribute vaccines in the districts and the areas under the local self government institutions by taking into consideration the places where the vaccination rate was relatively low, the release said.
Since the vaccine has been seen to be effective in people over the age of 60, the CM asked the local bodies to ensure everyone in that age group is vaccinated as soon as possible.Presently all the panchayats with a weekly infection population rate (WIPR) of more than 7 per cent are in full lockdown and once COVID test information is collected from all the wards, ward-level lockdown would be implemented, the CM said.
The CM also directed to ensure that the proposal to remove teachers from the post of Sectoral Magistrate was being implemented and those who volunteer should be included for that job.He also directed that the eight lakh doses of vaccine the state has, be administered soon and to ensure that there is no shortage of syringes, the release said.
The CM also wanted officials to find out how many people were infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated.