Covid-19: Kerala to shore up first-line treatment centres

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 28, 2020 Published on July 28, 2020

Mulls special ‘brigade’ to fight pandemic spread

A spate of local transmissions in Kerala has prompted the State government to shift its focus on laying out the Covid First-Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs) and mobilising and training human resources to man these centres, which would act as the first point of reference for those with mild symptoms.

Students who have completed courses run by the Kerala University of Health Sciences would be roped for the CFLTCs, Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan said here. The State currently has 12,801 beds across CFLTCs, with 45 per cent occupancy.

In two phases, the number of CFLTCs would be increased so that an additional 67,000 beds become available, even as more human resources are being identified to run them. Each CFLTC would have a team headed by a medical officer with a staff nurse, a lab technician, and pharmacists as members.

Fighting the pandemic

Apart from this, the State also has decided to form specially designated ‘Covid brigades’ to help fight the pandemic. It plans to recruit thousands of doctors, nursing staff and patient care attendants to form the brigades, members of which would be trained to partake in the effort to prevent spread of the virus.

The government proposes to start special centres at the district level to provide training for members recruited to form the brigade, who could later be assigned to run the CFLTCs, among others. The Deputy Superintendent of the Thiruvananthauram Medical College has been asked to prepare an action plan on this.

The Chief Minister added that the recruits will be appropriately ‘rewarded’ by the government, per existing norms. A large number of students also are expected to be part of this fight. All such students will be given appreciation certificates for their participation, the Chief Minister added.

Screening of policemen

The State intends to screen all police personnel using the antibody test kits provided by HLL Ltd, a Central public sector undertaking based here. The private health sector, which too has joined the fight against the disease, will make available 44 non-functional and 42 partially functioning hospitals for the purpose.

The Chief Minister said the government was studying an expert proposal to treat asymptomatic positive patients at home, subject to clear protocols for monitoring and managing the patients. The Health Department is in the process of preparing these protocols, he added.

The State reported 702 new cases and two deaths on Monday. Significantly, it also reported 745 recoveries, the second time in the last 4-5 days that recoveries have exceeded the big numbers in new cases. But it is too early to celebrate, the Chief Minister said, since signals suggest otherwise.

Transmissions in clusters

What is of concern is the transmission within clusters at various parts of the State that is going up, even as many of the clusters themselves are expanding in size. Locally acquired infections accounted for 536 of the 702 cases reported on Monday, and infections without a known source came in at 35.

Health workers continued to be affected in many hospitals across the State, with 43 of them testing positive on Monday. The cumulative case burden stood at 19,727 cases. Recoveries reported till date are 10,054 while the number of active cases is at 9,611. The death toll till date is 63.

The situation in the worst-hit Thiruvananthapuram continued to be grave, where 150 of the 161 cases reported on Monday were locally acquired infections. This included 13 healthcare workers too. The district accounted for 2,723 of the active cases in the State, the Chief Minister said.

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Published on July 28, 2020
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