With the reality dawning that the fight against COVID in Kerala is going to be a long drawn affair, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday announced that 810 COVID First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTC) would be set up in the state.
“COVID is not going to go away like that and it has come to be realised that in clusters also there is a spike. COVID is going to be a long term problem. To deal with it we have now set up 101 CFLTC’s with 12801 beds, of which 45 per cent beds are already occupied,” said Vijayan.
“In the second phase, 229 CFLTC’s with 30598 beds would be ready and in the third phase, 480 CFLTC’s with 36400 beds would be ready. These CFLTCs would have the required medical professionals and all those who have finished their studies from the Health University would be deployed,” added Vijayan.
It was decided to set up the CFLTCs at various educational institutions, halls and such places and the responsibility for this has been given to the nearly 1000 local bodies in the state.
“We have also decided to act very tough against those who violate COVID guidelines as there is no other way to contain the spread,” said Vijayan.
He said on Monday 702 new COVID positive cases were registered in the state.
“In all 19,727 people have turned positive, of which 10054 have been cured. The total death toll includes 40 males and 21 women. On Monday of the 702 fresh cases, 482 were local infectees, while the source of 35 is unknown. In the state the total number of hot spots has touched 495,” said Vijayan.
Vijayan said the stage has come that COVID is not just a health issue but it has now become a social and economic problem too.
“Free treatment is given to all the patients in state run hospitals and CFLTC. The fees for the private hospitals is also fixed and is the lowest in the country and it includes a per day rate of Rs 2300 in the ward, Rs 6500 for ICU and Rs 11500 for the ventilator. We have decided to take over 44 private hospitals,” said Vijayan.
He said 1145 mental health professionals have been pressed into service and till now over 17 lakh calls have been made to provide counselling support.
Vijayan said there are clear cut protocols that have been announced for the last rites of COVID victims.
“There is practically no reason to believe that COVID spreads from dead bodies. When such a body is cremated there can be no way it spreads through the air. We have had a case, where there were issues created when a COVID positive patient who passed away was brought for cremation. It was led by a people’s representative (at Kottayam). Strong action would be taken against such people,” said Vijayan.