Shortage of staff, funds at COVID FLTCs

A view of the COVID first-line treatment centre at the Greenfield stadium at Karyavattom in Thiruvananthapuram.  

Faced with a possible shortage of manpower to run COVID first-line treatment centres (FLTCs) and institutional quarantine centres, the city Corporation has requested the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), under the district administration, for more personnel. The civic body is also facing a major financial burden in running these facilities, even as tax revenue has fallen this year, especially due to difficulties in collection.

The Corporation currently runs eight FLTCs including the Greenfield stadium at Karyavattom, the Homoeo Hospital at Iranimuttam, G.V. Raja School, St. Thomas School at Poonthura, ESI Hospital in Peroorkada, Ayush Panchakarma hospital at Poojappura, the Institute of Management in Governance near PMG, and the Government UP School at Beemapally. One more FLTC will be opened at the shooting centre in Vattiyurkavu on Sunday. As on Saturday, the FLTCs had 334 patients in them. In addition, the Corporation also runs 34 institutional quarantine centres, housing 656 people.

8-hour shifts

The Corporation has appointed its staff, including junior health inspectors, as charge officers in the FLTCs in three shifts of eight hours each. In addition, cleaning staff are also being deployed at a rate of one for every ten beds. In the larger FLTCs like the Greenfield stadium, five charge officers are deployed at a time. But, when a junior health inspector tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, all of the staff on duty during that time had to go in quarantine.

According to officials, if such a situation arises in more centres, there could be a severe shortage of charge officers. Officials in various wings of the Corporation have gone into quarantine this week, after seven councillors, including two standing committee chairpersons, tested positive.

“As per the government order on the running of the FLTCs, issued on June 10, the DDMA has to make available the required staff. If the current situation persists, there could be a severe shortage of staff to run these facilities in the near future, to prevent which more personnel have to be deployed,” says a Corporation official.

₹15 crore spent

During this pandemic period, the Corporation has spent around ₹15 crore for various purposes, from running of institutional quarantine centres and community kitchens to disinfection activities. As of now, funds of only ₹30.5 lakh have been cleared for the Corporation from the disaster management funds. With some of its institutional quarantine centres taking care of even people from the nearby panchayats, the civic body’s financial as well as human resources are under severe strain, say officials.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 4:40:54 AM |

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