When COVID-19 forced governments to step up

How Kerala responded to the COVID-19 situation in the State

Commuters wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus travel in a ferry during rain in Kochi, Kerala.   | Photo Credit: AP

Here is how Kerala is using its epidemic management skills gleaned from two Nipah outbreaks, ingenious technology-driven use of ‘contact-tracing’ using spatiotemporal data and special schemes to fight the pandemic.

This list is not exhaustive, there are multiple schemes being evolved to cater to the emergency situations that arise from time to time.

  • Free ration and grocery kits to all ration card holders (88 lakh families) twice, in April and July.
  • Community kitchens opened by local bodies and Kudumbashree. Food provided free-of-cost to those in home quarantine as well as to the public on call.
  • All welfare pensions provided in two tranches in April and July. More than 50 lakh beneficiaries across various categories. Allocation of ₹1000 each through welfare boards to 11 lakh members. One-time payment of ₹1000 to the deserving, who are not part of any pension scheme.
  • An amount of ₹58.5 crores allocated to NORKA (Department for Non Resident Keralites Affairs) for a payment of ₹5000 each to expats who have lost their jobs or are unable to return to various countries.
  • Upto 50% reduction in the additional power charge incurred by the households during the lockdown period.
  • Moratorium on all pending taxes, rents and dues for shops and buildings owned by local bodies. Tax concession of one third of quarterly tax payable by private bus owners (Around ₹10,000 concession per bus). Tax payment deadline extended.
  • Remuneration of National Health Mission employees, on contract and daily basis, increased. Risk allowance of 25% for nurses and other health workers. Additional expense of 22.68 crores per month under this head.

Healthcare facilities

Covid hospitals- 29 (All Govt)

Private hospitals willing to admit Covid patients- 70

Covid beds (Govt)- 8775

ICU beds- 871

Ventilators- 532

Covid beds (private hospitals):- 3400

ICU beds- 176

HDU beds- 129

ICU+ventilators- 66

Covid First Line Treatment Centres

Number of CFLTC beds- 17782

Total number of testing facilities - 126

  *Government -27

  *Private - 99

 

Following Government negotiations with private hospitals, per-day charges for treatment in private hospitals fixed at Rs 2,300 in general ward, ₹6,500 in ICU and ₹11,500 in Ventilator ICU

 

(Inputs from S.R. Praveen and C. Maya)

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 7:17:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/how-kerala-responded-to-the-covid-19-situation-in-the-state/article32314116.ece

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