Kerala

Coronavirus: State on battle mode

The Health department has requested people who have returned to the State from China to voluntarily report themselves at the department so that they can be guided properly on the precautions that they should necessarily take, while being on home quarantine for the next 28 days.

The Health department is on a high state of alert and while the situation was right now very much under control, everyone needed to maintain utmost caution, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja told media persons here on Tuesday.

Ms. Shylaja, who chaired a review meeting of the control room opened at the Health department, said it was very important that asymptomatic people with a recent travel history to China did not see the home quarantine as a forced restriction.

They would need to take home quarantine guidelines of the Health department seriously and totally avoid public places because of the new revelation by China that asymptomatic people could also be spreading the disease. If at all they develop any cold-like symptoms while on quarantine, they should immediately get in touch with the DISHA helpline (1056/0471-2552056).

Control rooms have been opened in all districts, and quarantine guidelines and those related to the precautions, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette to be maintained have been disseminated right down to the primary health centres.

633 persons on quarantine

A total of 633 persons with a recent travel history to China are currently on quarantine in the State and under strict observation of the Health department. Of the 16 who have so far been admitted in isolation wards in hospitals with mild flu-like symptoms, all except seven have been discharged.

Ms. Shylaja said six samples out of the 10 (of hospitalised persons) sent to NIV Pune has tested negative for Coronavirus (nCoV). Health department was following the guidelines issued by the ICMR and the Centre, and all emergency preparedness measures in hospitals had been initiated. Screening of passengers, which had been initiated at Kochi airport, will now be done at Thiruvananthapuram also.

She said that the Health department as well as the office of the CM were in touch with the Malayali students stranded in China. While the State expressed concern for their safety, given the current situation when quarantine rules of their host country could not be violated, it was up to the Centre to take a call on if and how they could be evacuated.

A lot of medical students from Kerala were in Wuhan, the epicentre of the current epidemic, and it does pose a special situation if all of them were to be brought into the State, Ms. Shylaja admitted.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 9:15:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/coronavirus-state-on-battle-mode/article30676348.ece

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