No cause of concern for coronavirus in Kerala
Kochi: Kerala, which successfully survived the threat of Nipah twice, has no reason to be afraid of coronavirus. Foolproof measures are in place to monitor those returning from the virus affected nations, including China and to take follow-up action.
Although 288 people are under observation, only seven among them displayed symptoms of coronavirus. Of the seven, five have tested negative. Moreover, arrangements are in place to tackle any situation.
Treatment methods as prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been released for hospitals in the state. Isolation wards have been set up in all medical colleges and important hospitals. Medicines and other necessary services have been made available.
Strict observation in place
Health officers will conduct mandatory and strict preliminary observation in airports and shipyards. If anyone displays symptoms of coronavirus, they will be taken to isolation wards.
Others will be given awareness about the disease and sent home. Arrangements will be made to monitor such persons in their own houses. They will be monitored for up to 28 days.
Those who have returned from China recently must contact the district medical officers. For inquiries, contact Direct Intervention System for Health Awareness (DISHA) 24x7 helpline number 1056 or call 0471 2552056.
Returnees take note
People returning from coronavirus-affected places must remain indoors for 28 days. They are advised to go out only to avail medical assistance. They must avoid contact with other family members and stay inside locked rooms with toilet and other basic amenities.
They must not share routine items such as utensils, mug, bedsheets etc with others. Clothes, towels and other personal wear must be washed separately using bleaching solution. Use a handkerchief to cover one’s mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. These handkerchiefs must be disinfected. Do not spit in public places. Do not entertain visitors. When you suffer from symptoms of fever, cough or any breathing problems, get in touch with the helpline numbers of the district and then visit hospitals.
Treatment facilities have been set up in two hospitals in each district. The phone numbers of the nodal officers, superintendents and the isolation wards have been made public. After contacting them, proceed directly towards the isolation wards. Do not visit the casualty or the OP centres. The aged and those affected by lifestyle diseases must be careful.
The elderly and diabetic patients have poor immunity hence need to exercise great caution, said experts. Those who come in contact with animals must also show great caution.
No need for concern
Kerala is moving ahead with great caution in the wake of the spread of the virus. There is no need for any anxiety and all precautions and preparations have been put in place.
A control room has been opened at the Health Department Directorate to coordinate preventive measures. Hospitals have been secured and safety guidelines issued. The guidelines by the Health department must be strictly adhered to. We can prevent the virus through our joint efforts - K K Shailaja, Health Minister