Kerala ropes in panchayats to set up first line COVID-19 treatment centres

Thiruvananthapuram: With the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Kerala, the state is all set to rope in local self bodies to fight the pandemic.

Work is underway to set up first-line COVID-19 treatment centres with 100-bed capacity in all the panchayats in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday. The additional health workers required for its implementation will also be mobilised, especially those who can be deployed on an emergency basis, he told reporters here.

"A decision was taken to mobilise all the health workers and expand our Covid-19 preventive measures. We can only move forward with an inclusive system that can deploy not only those associated with government hospitals but also those working in private hospitals and clinics in the health sector, including students.

We expect the private hospitals and clinics to cooperate well with this. The LSG bodies will take the initiative for implementing this," the CM said.

At present there are 10 large community clusters out of a total of 84 clusters in the state and it is in these places where the infection is fast spreading, he noted.

There is a possibility of infection spreading in these places without visible symptoms and people from all walks of life should take preventive measures, assuming that there are patients in their community, whether or not they have been diagnosed with the disease.

Testing would be ramped up as much as possible and steps would be taken to get the results faster.

The required manpower will be increased. Private labs will be utilised to the maximum and more testing centres will be started on a priority basis, he added.

The Chief Minister also asked the public to be cautious against false and misleading information about Covid-19 being spread by some people.

"We have been able to effectively control the toll from Covid-19 so far as a result of the tireless efforts and the vigilance of our society.

Kerala's population density is almost double the national average and this makes it vulnerable to the disease spreading fast. If so, the mortality rate will definitely increase. Any carelessness on our part can lead to a disaster."

The government would set up separate quarantine centres for police personnel in all the 14 districts.

(With PTI inputs.)

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