Udayavni Special

COVID-19: Kerala to strengthen anti-COVID measures, to deploy medical students to tackle situation


Team Udayavani, May 5, 2021, 8:44 PM IST

Kochi: With coronavirus cases continuing to shoot up in Kerala, the state government on Wednesday decided to strengthen the anti-COVID measures by deploying medical students and government officials to tackle the situation on the ground.

On a day when Kerala logged 41,953 fresh cases in the highest single day spike so far,Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the situation as serious and said stringent measures will have to be taken to curb the surge.

After reviewing the situation with top officials, Vijayan said instructions will be given to strengthen the ward level committees and rapid response teams by incorporating the medical students from the areas.

Besides the returning officers, all other officials who had participated in the Assembly election process will also be included in such committees and teams, he told a press conference.

”The State is going through a very serious situation and COVID is spreading rapidly.All figures are increasing and the test positivity rate is not reducing either.In these circumstances, we need to strengthen the restrictions,” Vijayan said.

He said in view of the rise in the cases, more stringent measures will have to be taken to curb the surge in the state where severe lockdown-like restrictions were already in force.

The Chief Minister said steps will be taken to convert lodges and hostels as Covid First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs).

Besides state government agencies like Consumerfed and Supplyco, political parties, NGOs, Overseas Malayalee Associations registered abroad and private agencies will be allowed to function as relief agencies.

With the addition of the fresh infections today, Kerala’s caseload has gone up to17,43,932, while 23,106 people were cured of the infection, pushing the recoveries to 13.62 lakh.

The Chief Minister said as the number of Covid patients increases by the day, the need for oxygen has also increased.

”Oxygen stock is decreasing very rapidly.

In this scenario, we need the Centres help in maintaining adequate stock of oxygen.I have requested the Prime Minister to provide 1,000 MT of imported liquefied medical oxygen to the state,” he said.

He urged the centre to allott 500 MT as the first instalment from the current import quota.

”Another 500 MT may be allotted in the next phase. Consideration may also be given to allocating 500 MT from any steel plant near Kerala.In view of the increasing number of Covid patients, Kerala should be provided with as many oxygen tankers, PSA plants, oxygen concentrators and ventilators as possible on a high priority basis,” Vijayan said.

He also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state should be allotted 50 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 25 lakh doses of Covaxin.

The Centre should take into account the number of people waiting for the second dose and those who have registered for the first dose while allocating vaccines to the states.

He also assured the Prime Minister that Kerala would be at the forefront of the fight against the COVID pandemic collaborating with the Central government.

The government said 58 deaths were also confirmed as caused by COVID taking the related death toll in the state to 5,565.

Active cases now stood at 3,75,658, while the test positivity rate (TPR) was 25.69.

Ernakulam district topped with 6,558 new cases followed by Kozhikode (5,180), Malappuram (4,166), Thrissur (3,731), Thiruvananthapuram (3,727) and Kottayam (3,432).

Not a single case has been reported from among those who came from the UK, South Africa and Brazil in the last 24 hours, the government said.

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