KOCHI: In the wake of a Covid-19 death at an old age home in the district, the government on Friday issued a red alert across over 400 old age homes in the state, of which a majority are in Ernakulam.
“There are over 400 old age homes here. Through a video conference, we have cautioned the inmates against venturing out and asked them to strictly follow the Covid protocol,” Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar, who is coordinating Covid-19 containment measures in Ernakulam, told reporters.
The red alert was issued after an inmate of Karunalayam, a care home and convent of the Sisters of the Destitute at Thrikkakara, died on Friday morning. However, health officials are yet to confirm whether she died of Covid. As many as 44 of 134 residents, including nuns, of Karunalayam had tested positive for the virus on Thursday. Four of the infected showed severe symptoms and were shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery, and private hospitals. Besides, 27 nuns at a convent in Keezhmad and eight at a convent in Kuzhippilly also tested positive, establishing that the Thrikkakara case is not an exception.
Meanwhile, Sunil Kumar said Karunalayam old age home had been converted into a ‘special hospital’.
“The services of doctors are guaranteed there. Medical teams will be deployed at all old age homes and all facilities suggested by the teams will be ensured, including palliative care specialist, full-time ambulance and telemedicine facility,” he said.A helpdesk will be set up under the Department of Social Justice to monitor the activities of old age homes.
“A special code of conduct will be enforced in the places. Only one person will be allowed to leave such homes for getting essentials. The person must strictly adhere to Covid protocol and must not come into contact with other inmates of the homes,” he said.