Declare health emergency in Kerala: IMA to state govt

Declare health emergency in Kerala: IMA to state govt
A passenger undergoes thermal screening at the entrance of Rabindra Sarobar Metro Station as Kolkata Metro resumed its services after 175 days owing to COVID-19 lockdown, in Kolkata, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the state government to declare a health emergency in Kerala as the COVID-19 situation turns alarming. The IMA has shot off a missive to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in this regard.

"The health emergency must be declared to create awareness among the public," IMA state president Dr Abraham Varghese said.

Stringent steps must be taken to stop the disease spread. COVID-19 guidelines must be strictly implemented. While pointing out that more number of healthcare workers were also getting infected, the IMA said that the state will have to face dire consequences in the coming days if the situation does not improve.

The crisis in Kerala could further escalate if appropriate steps were not taken immediately, as per a study by the IMA's public health department.

Kerala has the highest infection rate in the country. The seven-day moving growth rate and the 30-day moving growth rate in Kerala are more than the national average and that of the other states. Kollam, Kannur, and Palakkad districts witnessed a nearly 300 per cent increase in the number of positive cases last month.

Increase testing

The IMA also said that Kerala has a relatively low testing rate.

The only solution to the crisis is to increase the number of tests and isolate the patients to control the transmission. At least one lakh daily tests should be carried out, the IMA said in a statement.

Asymptomatic patients can be in home isolation. But daily medical care should be ensured for them.

The IMA also said that details such as the number of the vacant beds and ventilators in each district should be uploaded on the website in real-time.

Another recommendation made was to set up a coordination committee, including professional outfits such as the IMA, to rein in the pandemic. The association also flagged the lack of coordination among various departments that has adversely affected the fight against pandemic.

The IMA also sought to bring back the curbs at offices and workplaces, and also to cut down the employee strength to 50 per cent or less.

The association also called for more strict regulations to control events, festivities, and agitations. Overcrowding should be strictly prevented. People should be allowed to step out only to buy essential supplies, for any urgent needs or to go to their workplace.

"Political, social, and cultural leaders should stand united to implement these guidelines. This is the need of the hour," the IMA added.

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