Controversial rehab centre to shut down after village body cancels sanitation certificate

Certificate cancelled, Puthujeevan hospital to close down after three mystery deaths
Puthujeevan Trust Hospital for Psychological Medicine and De-addiction at Thrikkodithanam in Kerala's Kottayam district. Photo: Manorama

Changanassery: Paippad panchayat has cancelled the sanitary certificate of the Puthujeevan Trust Hospital for Psychological Medicine and De-addiction at Thrikkodithanam in Kerala's Kottayam district. The panchayat would also soon issue a notice to close down the centre, which is under the scanner after three mystery deaths were reported in a week in February.

During an inspection on Sunday, the health department of the panchayat found that the centre did not have sanitation and garbage disposal facilities. And the panchayat administration council decided to cancel the certificate on Tuesday.

Initially, the health department turned up for the council meeting without conducting an inspection at the centre. However, the council members asked the officials to immediately carry out the checks. The council waited until the officials returned after completing the inspection. Then the certificate was cancelled.

Viral infection?

Meanwhile, the forensic department has informed the probe team that two of the residents at the centre died due to pneumonia caused by viral infection. However, the forensic department said that a final report can be submitted only after lead, blood, internal organs and pathology tests are conducted. The test to ascertain lead poisoning is being conducted at the Amrita Medical College in Kochi. The result would be available on Thursday.

Those, undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital, have been moved to the isolation ward set up for Coronavirus. This is being done as a precautionary measure as the viral infection has not been identified. Earlier, Kottayam Medical College superintendent Dr T K Jayakumar had ruled out Coronavirus and Nipah.

Meanwhile, the police probe into the mystery death is on. Eleven unnatural deaths were reported at the Puthujeevan Trust between 2016 and 2020. Of this, four were found hanging and two people choked on their food. DySP S Suresh Kumar said that further investigation would be held into these incidents.

Additional district magistrate Anil Oommen would submit the probe report to Collector P K Sudheer on Wednesday. A march was led by the action council to the Paippad panchayat office. However, the police stopped the march near the panchayat office.

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