Kerala

Local bodies in Kerala asked to be ready with 'transport plan' for COVID-19 purposes

There should be sufficient numbers of ambulances or vehicles with oxygen support in every local body. File   | Photo Credit: GOPAKUMAR S

The Local Self Government Department has asked local bodies across the State to be ready with a 'transport plan', to ensure adequate transportation facilities for people to and from COVID-tesing centres and other emergencies.

The order comes at a time when councillors in various local bodies have been raising concerns about the lack of sufficient transportation for those who want to get tested.

The local bodies have to provide transportation to take those who are suspected of having contacted the virus to and from testing centres, to take those who need to be admitted to Domiciliary Care Centres (DCC) or Covid First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTC) or hospitals without delay and to health workers to and from vaccination centres. Any emergency help required by those remaining in home quarantine also needs to be provided.

The LSGD has stipulated that each local body should have a transport plan based on the size, population and the current rate of increase in positive cases in the specific local body. One or more persons should be given the responsibility of coordinating these activities. Gramapanchayats should have a minimum of five vehicles, while municipalities should have ten and Corporations should have 25 vehicles.

In case there is a shortage of '108' ambulances, taxis or ambulances with double chambers can be used for COVID-19-related cases. The vehicles chosen should be available for service during day and night. The local bodies should rent the vehicles or hold talks with co-operative institutions, private institutions, trusts or other institutions having ambulances of their own to use these vehicles. They can also explore the option of speaking to those who are willing to spare their vehicles for purpose.

Arrangements can also be made with autorickhsaw and taxi unions. The local body has to provide PPE kits to the drivers in such cases. Residents' associations may also be encouraged to arrange vehicles at the local level. All the vehicles that are plying for this purpose should be registered with the local body's control room. It should also be ensured that the non-COVID-19 patients are also getting sufficient vehicles for their treatment purposes. The COVID-positive patients who are being taken to DCC or CFLTCs should have someone wearing a PPE kit to assist them. They can be selected from the volunteer force, after providing adequate training.

There should be sufficient numbers of ambulances or vehicles with oxygen support in every local body. The vehicles should be disinfected properly after each trip. The drivers of such vehicles should preferably be provided alternate accommodation by the local body during this period, to ensure the safety of their family members. The control rooms should have three dedicated contact numbers for transportation purposes alone.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 3:42:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/local-bodies-in-kerala-asked-to-be-ready-with-transport-plan-for-covid-19-purposes/article34505552.ece

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