Adhere to COVID-19 protocols at relief camps, threat of Delta variant high

A dreadful nightmare since the 2018 floods finally comes true for landslide-hit families of Mundakayam
People at the relief camp set up at St Antony's High School, Mundakkayam East.

Thiruvananthapuram: A public health alert has been sounded for several hundreds of people who have been shifted to relief camps in a few districts of central Kerala in the wake of cloudbursts that led to landslides and flooding last weekend. 

Those in flood relief camps should strictly maintain COVID-appropriate behaviour, the Kerala Government urged, adding that any laxity in adhering to the protocol would fuel the spread of the infection. 

While issuing the warning, Health Minister Veena George said the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 was found in several areas. She advised those in relief camps, volunteers and officials to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, besides providing special care to the elderly, children and those with comorbid conditions.

A set of guidelines was also issued to be followed in relief camps. The guidelines include the following:

•  Face masks should be worn at all times. Avoid wearing wet masks. Masks should be discarded only at designated places, and they should not be tossed into floodwaters. Hands should be frequently sanitised.

• Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth without sanitising the hands. 

• No dining in groups.

• Alert officials in case anyone has fever, cough, sore throat, or cold. 

• Those with symptoms should be quarantined.

• If someone tests positive for COVID-19, his family members and others in the primary contact list should also be quarantined.

• Do not closely mingle with children, elderly persons, differently-abled and those with serious illness.

• Children aged above two too should wear face masks.

• Those who take medicines regularly should continue to do so.

• Psychiatric help is available in camps.

• Only boiled or chlorinated water should be consumed.

• Camps and surroundings should be kept clean to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

• Those coming in contact with contaminated water should take preventive medicines for rat fever.

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