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Coronavirus in Kerala: What state did you do to prevent panic? Kochi News


KOCHI: In early February, Kerala had the first and only confirmed case of Covid-19 in India: three medical students who had returned from Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the disease. In less than a month, the three patients were treated successfully and discharged, as ordered, from the isolation rooms after giving negative twice in a row.

Since then, Kerala has been able to contain the spread of the virus through proactive protocols that seek to educate the general public about the precautions that should be taken without sounding too alarmist. In addition to conducting a focused awareness campaign, authorities have rushed to suppress rumors about the outbreak.

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From immigration officials and police to panchayats and health volunteers locally, there is a multi-level and perfectly integrated system. The following are some of the preventive measures initiated by the state government at the height of the scare of the coronavirus.

Inspection airport

Passengers arriving from abroad will be given a health card in which they must list their travel details and health status. Before proceeding to immigration, they would have to verify and seal the details at a special desk. For passengers from China, Hong Kong or other regions affected by the coronavirus, the protocol is to transfer them to a transit room where their body temperature is measured immediately.

Each of Kerala’s five airports is connected to ambulances and emergency response services in district hospitals. Any passenger who has a fever, cough or sore throat should be immediately transferred to the linked hospital and from there a message will be passed to the district medical office. This office immediately contacts the person’s relatives and informs them about the passenger’s isolation. If travelers have no symptoms, they are allowed to return home, subject to strict external surveillance by a health team.

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Local intervention

Immediately after the first case was detected, panchayat-level bodies throughout the state received a directive on infection control and home isolation protocols. In a circular issued by the local self-government department, all local agencies were ordered to prepare a list of people who came from places affected by the virus and those in contact with those people. Multiple help lines were established.

Impulse of conscience

The campaign focuses on basic hand and airway hygiene, including the use of a tissue or a flexed elbow to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. People have been advised to avoid handshakes and close contact with anyone suspected of being infected. The standard prevention protocol also includes the use of personal protective equipment, depending on the risk.

Infection protocol

All private medical institutions, laboratories and consultation centers have been asked to adhere strictly to the recommended infection protocol. Around 215 mental health teams have contacted 2,600 people in home quarantine to relieve anxiety and also to advise family members and neighborhood people.

The use of breathalyzers has been temporarily suspended. Police personnel have been ordered to use other methods, such as a medical examination, to detect driving under the influence of alcohol.

Double check

Blood banks in all districts have implemented a mandatory precautionary measure to prevent the transmission of the virus. They began with a double evaluation of donors and stopped collecting blood samples from people who recently arrived from abroad or from those with a history of travel to foreign countries. A directive has been issued to all blood donor forums, groups and NGOs that conduct blood donation camps to verify donor travel history before sending them.

Destruction of rumors

District police chiefs have already initiated strict actions against those who found false circulating news related to the outbreak of the virus on social media.

Border controls

A team of doctors and other health care personnel has examined travelers entering Kerala by road. They use non-contact infrared thermometers to verify body temperature and distribute pamphlets on the precautions to be taken against Covid-19.

Times of India