Kerala

Local bodies told to be ready with transport plan

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-testing centres and related 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, take those who need to be admitted to domiciliary care centres (DCC) or Covid First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTC) or hospitals 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 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. Grama panchayats should have a minimum of five vehicles, municipalities 10, and corporations 25 vehicles.

In case of 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 cooperative 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 the purpose.

Arrangements can also be made with autorickshaw and taxi unions. The local body has to provide PPE kits to drivers in such cases. Residents’ associations may also be encouraged to arrange vehicles at the local level. The vehicles plying for this purpose should be registered with the local body’s control room.

It should also be ensured that non-COVID patients are also getting sufficient vehicles for their treatment purposes. The COVID-positives being taken to DCCs/CFLTCs should have someone wearing a PPE kit to assist them. They can be selected from the volunteer force, after adequate training.

There should be sufficient number 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 24, 2021 8:25:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/local-bodies-told-to-be-ready-with-transport-plan/article34508409.ece

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