Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala should see the resurgence of COVID-19 infection in Europe as a warning, health experts said.
Like in European countries, two waves of the pandemic have raged through Kerala, and a recurrence of widespread infection would pose a challenge to the State which was yet to totally inoculate its people.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that 53 European and Central Asian countries were under the real threat of a resurgence of a pandemic, or were already facing a new wave of the infection.
As many as 12 lakh people in Kerala were yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine. While 2.54 crore (96%) out of the eligible 2.66 crore people have been administered the first dose until Sunday, only 1.44 crore (54%) have so far received both the doses required. The vaccine hesitancy in the remaining people has been attributed to health and religious reasons.
COVID-19 expert committee chairman Dr B Iqbal said the infection was found severe in those who had not been vaccinated in Europe. Though new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have not been found, Kerala would be under threat if the disease spreads in other States, Dr Iqbal warned.
Expert committee member Dr T S Aneesh did not rule out the possibility of a third COVID wave in Kerala, but said the mortality rate would be less. Lowering the guard against COVID-19, such as avoiding face masks and maintaining social distancing, would accelerate the spread of the virus.
Viral fever grips State
Meanwhile, viral fever has been spreading in Kerala that has brought the spread of COVID-19 under control.
Watery eyes and swelling on the face accompanied with high temperature are the symptoms. The fever has been spreading among children also.
With the school reopening, children are prone to fever caused by syncytial virus, health experts said.