Preventing community spread is govt's top priority, says Kerala Health Minister Shailaja

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Preventing community spread of COVID-19 is the top priority oF Kerala government, Health Minister K K Shailaja said on Monday.

"Kerala can handle the rising number of cases, if we prevent the community spread of the virus. Cooperation of the people and strict adherence to government guidelines are crucial in this endeavour," she said while speaking to mediapersons in Thiruvananthapuram.

The minister also made it clear that foreign returnees and others under observation will have to stay in the institutional quarantine if they live in places without attached bathrooms.

Since the accuracy of antibody tests is limited, those under observation will have to continue in quarantine even if the test is negative, she added.

"Precautions and preventive measures are of utmost importance. It is every citizen's responsibility," the minister said.

She also highlighted the importance of wearing masks, maintaining them and disposing them off carefully.

Social distancing norms have to be maintained even if the lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

Hand shakes and close contact should be avoided when individuals meet after a long time, the minister said.

The state presently has 1,095 active cases, while 803 people have recovered from the disease so far. Over 1.91 lakh people are currently put under quarantine in the state. Out of this, 1.89 lakh people are home/institutional quarantine.

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