Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Friday admitted the state is indeed facing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the third wave likely began on January 1. However, she dismissed any attempts to paint this one as devastating as the previous two waves that crippled health infrastructure in the northern parts of the country.
She outlined two key factors for this. First, a vast majority of the people here have been administered two doses of the vaccine.
Second, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, though more contagious than its predecessors, is less lethal than those that accompanied the previous wave.
She also pointed that that though the fresh COVID-19 cases being reported daily for the past few weeks are staggeringly higher than earlier, there has been a considerable dip in the numbers in the last few days.
While the second and third week of January saw spikes of 148 and 215 per cent respectively, the last week of January reported only 71 per cent, George elaborated.
The number of people requiring ventilators at hospitals too has shown a significant drop, she added.
She also urged those suffering only mild symptoms after contracting COVID-19 to refrain from visiting the hospitals and thus further burdening the system.