Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is looking to ramp up diagnostic tests in an effort to gauge the full extent of the spread of COVID-19 in the state in light of its second wave. In all three lakh people will be tested on Wednesday and Thursday just days after a massive test drive when over 3 lakh samples were collected on Friday and Saturday.
This massive testing campaign is part of the State's three-pronged strategy to arrest within two months the latest surge of the pandemic. Strict controls and intensive vaccination too are integral to the extensive test drive.
Target frontline workers
Frontline workers, i.e. those having close contact with the public, will be given priority during the mass testing. They include transport workers, shop assistants, hotel and restaurant waiters and hospital bystanders.
"If we can identify the infected and quarantine them, the COVID-19 spread can be controlled to a large extent," had said on Thursday.
Since many frontline workers in the government sector, especially the healthcare staff and the police, have already been vaccinated the focus will be on frontline workers in the private sector, Joy said.
Thrust on vaccination and precautions too
The second part of the counter-fight against the disease involves the stepping up of the vaccination effort. However, the State is facing a shortage of vaccines at the moment. More vaccine doses are expected soon as the Centre has been notified.
Enforcement of health protocols to contain the spread of the coronavirus is another major measure.
A slew of measures have already been introduced in the state. The latest of them is the night curfew which comes into effect on Tuesday.
The State has also made it mandatory that people book in advance to atttend places of worship.
Gatherings and celebrations have also been banned on May 2 the day the results of Kerala Assembly Election will be announced.
Kerala recorded 13,644 new COVID-19 cases after 87,275 tests on Monday, pushing the caseload to 12,53,068. As many as 4,305 people were cured of the infection yesterday, taking the total recoveries so far to 11,44,791.