The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council has directed all Catholic hospitals in the State to impose only the "minimum fees" for COVID-19 treatment.
In a circular issued here on Monday, the Bishops' Council, the apex body of the Catholic hierarchy, as it appealed to the church members to pray for God's help in these trying times, directed the hospitals to provide tele-medicine consultation facilities and to provide the respective phone numbers to the public. The bishops also called on the church authorities to coordinate the activities against COVID-19 at all levels.
The diocesan committees should ensure that instruments like pulse oximeter, digital thermometer, steam inhaler, masks and sanitizers are made available to those under COVID-19 treatment in their own residences at subsidised rates.
The Catholic Sisters' Doctors' Forum will make available a telemedicine consultation facility through the anti-COVID 19 activities coordination committee, the bishops said.
They also appealed to all to follow the social distancing norms, use sanitizers, wash hands frequently and to ensure cleanliness in homes and their surroundings. The bishops also called on the church members to cooperate with the health workers and to respect and help them.
The bishops are also of the opinion that all must take vaccines as their turn arrived and that they should engage in activities that would bring solace to the COVID-19 patients.
The KCBC Health Commission, Catholic Health Association of India's Kerala chapter, Kerala Social Service Forum and Catholic Sisters Doctors' Forum are working together in the fight against the pandemic, the communication added.
These activities are being carried out in cooperation with the government agencies and as per their directions. More activities will be undertaken in cooperation with institutions belonging to other religions.
In the meanwhile the KCBC's anti-pandemic activities are being coordinated through a forum operating out of the Pastoral Orientation Centre, POC, Palarivattam. The phone numbers are: 9072822364, 9072822365, 9072822366.