Every panchayat in Ernakulam district braces up for virus war

Kochi, Apr 7 () WIth primary treatment centres,ambulances and testing facilities besides a pool of doctorsand nurses, every panchayat in Ernakulam, the industrialdistrict of Kerala, is ready to fight COVID-19 The district administration is geared up to protect itspopulation of 3.2 million from the attack of the deadly novelcoronavirus. Unveiling the plan, an official from the districtadministration on Tuesday said the healthcare institutionswhich respond to the COVID-19 emergency have been classifiedinto Plan A, B, and C. The classification is based on whether the institutionfalls under the public or private sector and also consideringthe capacity and facilities available at the institution. The district administration has converted two hospitals -the Government Medical College Hospital and PVS Hospital-into COVID care centres in the district. While the Medical College Hospital with a strengthenedICU is a 500-bed facility for managing COVID-19, PVS hospitalis equipped with 14 ventilators, 70 ICU beds and 70 singlerooms. The district administration has planned a firstlinetreatment centre at the ward-level in case if the virus casesexplode. "A primary treatment centre is a temporary facilitycreated to augment the healthcare system of the district andprovide care for 70-80 per cent of patients. This facility iscreated by converting existing facilities like communityhalls in local panchayats into treatment centres wherepatients in the locality can reach out for care," theadministration said in its plan. It says: "We have to decentralise the system and make aprimary treatment centre/first line treatment centre at award level. In every ward, there is a communityhall/auditoriums. A total of 25-bed primary treatment centrecould be set up in every ward". There are 80 items that are needed to set up a centre. "What can be taken from the field will be set up by thecommunity and other things which are mostly medical itemslike are provided by the centre. People who got coronavirusand have immunity are included as volunteers," it says. According to the plan, every panchayat needs to have anambulance and testing facility. Testing to classify personsas COVID-19 positive or not need to be done. Patients whocan't be managed at panchayat-level would be moved to thetaluk-level. The plan says a field response home care team would beset up - two per panchayat. The team includes nurses/doctors and their major motiveis to visit people with mild symptoms, test and clinicallyassess. Since a parallel system would be created to managecoronavirus, Primary Health Centres are exempted from theclinical management of the virus and they could handleroutine primary care, it says. In the case of massive outbreak in the community-level,mobile sample collection units would be set up at the taluk-level. "Samples will be collected from every panchayat underthat taluk at previously designated points. Mobile samplecollection cabinets have been already designated," thedistrict administration says in its plan. The district administration, expecting shortage of PPEkits, has taken initiatives to locally manufacture customisedPPEs. While hand sanitisers are manufactured with the supportof CSR, cloth masks are being manufactured with the supportof the community, it says. Noting that a total of 654 ambulances are available inErnakulam district, the administration said in advancedemergency response plan there would be two ambulances perpanchayat. TGBNVG NVG
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