Health minister warns of strict action against Covid protocol violators in old age homes
Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of several inmates of old age homes in Thiruvanathapuram and Ernakulam, testing positive for Covid-19, Health Minister K K Shailaja said that strict restrictions will be placed in such care homes and the violators will be punished.
“Such care homes, state-owned and private, were instructed not to allow any outsiders inside the building or to allow anyone to go outside. But this was violated in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam and people had gone outside the care homes leading to the transmission of Covid-19,” she said.
Elderly people are critically affected by Covid. Also, many of them might be suffering from other diseases. Hence the government had instructed for reverse quarantine, she added.
There are 16 government-owned old age homes and 561 private care homes under orphanage control board. Most of the inmates have comorbidities which could worsen the situation if affected by Covid. The managements of the old age homes should act responsibly and check the spread of virus infection, minister further said.
She also added that the health department and social justice department have strengthened the prevention measures at the Covid infected old age homes and have ensured proper treatment and care for the patients. Only one person at old age homes are allowed to go outside for essential needs and that persons shouldn’t interact with others, she warned.
Minister also said that a new helpline desk was launched at the social justice directorate for elderly. The service can be availed at toll free number 1800 425 2147 from 10 am to 5 pm. Also, the 24-hour service can be availed at health department’s Disha number 1056.
35 people including nuns at the Santhi Bhavan old age home in Kochuthura in Thiruvananthapuram had tested positive for Covid-19. A nun at the sister organisation of Karunalayam, a care home and convent of the Sisters of the Destitute at Thrikkakara in Ernakulam had died of Covid-19.
Following this tests were conducted among inmates and more people tested positive for Covid-19. Though another death was reported, the Covid patient was suffering from other diseases. Covid cases were also reported in SD Convent Chunangamvely and Samaritan in Pazhanganad. From these 3 care homes, 95 people were confirmed of the virus infection.