Infection Control Team in offices soon, to look for COVID-19 symptoms

Kerala Health Minister Veena George
Kerala Health Minister Veena George

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government has again tightened measures to control COVID-19. Apart from curbs for public places and events, the authorities have laid down a few guidelines for offices and various establishments.

The cluster management policy of the state government has suggested that steps be taken to ensure that none should sit together and have lunch in offices, factories and shops.

The risk of contracting COVID-19 is high when employees remove masks for having food together at workplaces.

Health Minister Veena George also advised the setting up of an Infection Control Team (ICT) in each establishment.

The ICT members should be given training. What is expected from the ICT is symptom testing on a daily basis as per the checklist issued by the government. In case of any issues, they can seek the help of local health workers, she said.

All those who are above the age of five years should make it a habit to wear N95 masks or three-layered masks. All offices and establishments should remain open to the maximum extent possible. The closing down of establishments should be the last option, the Minister advised.

Resistance to disease
Veena George stated that many people in the state have likely gained hybrid resistance to COVID-19 due to vaccination and infection.

Five crores of vaccine doses have already been administered. Natural immunity too likely developed as many people got infected with COVID-19 at least once, she surmised.

Those who work in schools and other establishments have received both doses of vaccines. So, there are lesser chances of health complications even after contracting COVID-19.

The Minister, however, warned that the situation would turn serious if those having other serious ailments were infected.

The cluster management policy is implemented by the government to curb such threats, she added.

Cluster management
A cluster is formed when two persons sitting in the same classroom or office or establishment or those who work in the same area develop COVID-19 within seven days.

The ITC members should find out people having COVID-19 symptoms from among those who had contacts with this cluster and quarantine them.

If more than 10 persons are infected with COVID-19 in an area, the particular area will be treated as a cluster. If the formation of five such clusters are reported, the office or establishment may be closed down for five days on the basis of the advice of the local health authorities.

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