Kerala

Owners resist move to turn flat complex into treatment centre

Kannur district administration cites shortage of beds in hospitals

The decision of the district administration to occupy an apartment building to convert it into COVID-19 First Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC) faced strong resistance from owners and local residents on Sunday.

Following shortage of beds in hospitals and treatment centres, and with more people expected to arrive from abroad and other States, District Collector T.V. Subhash issued an order under Sections 34 and 63 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and relevant provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act to take over the building, Z Plus Apartment, near the Kannur District Hospital. It has 48 apartments.

However, when officials arrived, a few owners and local residents resisted the move to take over the building, claiming that the district administration was not proceeding in accordance with rules, and that it had not informed the owners or occupants about the procedure.

P. Balamani, a resident, said there was no prior information from the district administration. Officials turned up with the police and started unloading beds and cots, she said. “I had sold my property and just started living here, while there are others who have done interior work and planning to resettle,” she added.

It is not certain as to how long the building will be occupied if it is converted into a COVID-19 treatment centre, said Ramachandran, an advocate, who spoke to the officials on behalf of the owners.

The situation remained tense as locals also joined the owners to protest against the district administration’s decision.

Meanwhile, District Medical Officer K. Narayan Nayak said there were four designated COVID-19 hospitals in the district. Considering the rising number of cases, four CFLTCs will be opened, and patients will be shifted to the new facilities, once the number of patients in designated hospitals touches 60% capacity, he explained.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 12:53:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/owners-resist-move-to-turn-flat-complex-into-treatment-centre/article31941455.ece

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