Centre happy with Kerala’s nCoV preparedness: expert

Security personnel wearing masks exit a special isolation ward set up to provide treatment to coronavirus patients at a Kochi hospital.

Security personnel wearing masks exit a special isolation ward set up to provide treatment to coronavirus patients at a Kochi hospital.  

Handling public health emergencies and biological hazards

Kerala’s preparedness in handling public health emergencies and biological hazards is on a par with global standards and the entire country now looks to the State for guidance in this regard, says Saurabh Dalal, Consultant, Medical Preparedness and Biological Hazards, National Disaster Management Authority.

Dr. Dalal, who is in town to review the State’s emergency management measures in the context of Kerala reporting all three nCoV cases in the country, said he had several rounds of discussions with the health authorities and that he could not be more pleased.

“With Kerala reporting India’s first cases in the global nCoV epidemic, there has been intense focus on how it is managing this crisis. But the State seems to have taken it in its stride and done everything the right way - emergency management measures, medical preparations, engaging with the public and media about the hazard on hand, and logistics management,” he said.

The Centre will extend all support to the State to tide over this emergency, Dr. Dalal added.

The experience of managing a similar biological hazard in 2018 when Nipah struck, followed closely by the deluge of the century, seems to have strengthened the State’s capacity for devising appropriate disaster management strategies.

“Stockpiling, infrastructure readiness, daily situation assessment reviews, training for health workers and hospital staff - in fact, even those working at the lowest rungs seem to be well aware of their roles and responsibilities.

And impressively, the Health Department seems to be talking to all stakeholders, the police, airports authorities, district administration, media..,” Dr. Dalal said. He also appreciated the proactive manner in which people were responding to the biological hazard that was upon them suddenly. He said he was pleased to see that apart from some isolated incidents, most of those with a recent travel history to China were not averse to self reporting.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 6:28:48 AM |

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