Health department warns against overcrowding during festival season

Call for extra vigil as 12 more Omicron cases have been confirmed in Ernakulam

The Health department has warned against overcrowding at public places and lack of compliance with the COVID-19 protocol, especially during Christmas and New Year celebrations.

People should not drop vigil against the spread of the disease. Steps should be taken against overcrowding at malls, markets, and other public places. The public should comply with the SMS (sanitise, mask wearing, and social distancing) protocol, said officials.

Even though COVID-19 cases are hovering below the 600-mark in Ernakulam, care should be taken not to violate government guidelines. Extra vigil should be maintained, as 12 Omicron cases have been confirmed in the district, they added.

The authorities have stepped up surveillance at the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery after six more Omicron cases were confirmed on Wednesday. International travellers who came from ‘at-risk’ nations have been shifted to the COVID treatment facility at Bharat Petroleum Corporation at Ambalamugal. They have to undergo the mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Health department continues to face the challenge of rising number of international travellers arriving at the airport. While all travellers coming from at-risk nations have to undergo the mandatory testing at the airport, random tests are done for travellers from countries not figuring in the list of at-risk nations. An estimated 2% of travellers undergo random tests.

With even those coming from countries not in the at-risk category getting infected by the Omicron variant, chances of international travellers from these nations not undergoing tests and getting infected later remain high, according to the Health department.

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