Kerala govt says no to dine-in at hotels; no more antigen tests at pvt labs

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has decided to not permit dine-in at hotels and restaurants for the time being considering the COVID-19 situation in the state.

A COVID review meeting held on Saturday also decided to not allow bars to serve liquor, instead to continue selling them over the counter. Proposals to open up cinema halls and theatres were also ignored by the government.

Meanwhile, the government is planning to impose lockdown in local body wards with the Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR) over 10%.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who chaired the meeting called for increasing contact tracing in the state.

Vijayan urged the meeting to strengthen the functioning of Rapid Response Teams (RRT) and neighbourhood committees. He also asked the departments concerned to ensure that those without symptoms do not undergo tests.

Private labs to stop antigen tests
With the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination approaching 90% in the state, the government has proposed stopping antigen testing at private laboratories.

Antigen tests will only be allowed at private and government hospitals, on the recommendation of doctors.

So far 88.94% of citizens (2,37,55,055) have received their first doses in Kerala and 36.67% (97,94,792) have been given the second shots. To date, a total of 3,35,49,847 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in Kerala.

Special vaccination drive
The review meeting also decided to conduct special vaccination drives for citizens above 65 years who have been hesitant to receive their shots.

It has also been planned to create awareness programmes on the mortality rate among unvaccinated individuals in the state.

It is estimated that nearly 29 lakh persons in the state are yet to be vaccinated. Those who were infected by the coronavirus should take their doses only after three months.

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