Ernakulam district increases testing to contain Covid spread

Nearly 1,015 Covid patients are being treated in home isolation to reduce the workload on healthcare workers, says official 

Published: 12th September 2020 04:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2020 04:20 AM   |  A+A-

coronavirus sample testing

A blood test sample for COVID-19 (File Photo)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Ernakulam district is losing ground by the day in the battle against Covid. With the number of fresh cases increasing exponentially, the district administration is on high alert as the pandemic threatens to spiral out of control.As on Friday, the total number of active cases crossed 3,000-mark, with no light visible at the end of the tunnel. The coming days will be crucial for the health department, as stringent steps are imperative to keep the virus in check. Following the state government directives, the health department has increased the daily Covid tests in the district to over 4,000 in an effort to monitor and control the spread of the coronavirus infection. Earlier, the number of tests varied between 3,000 and 3,500 per day. 

“With the increase in testing, the number of infections detected has also increased. Private labs and more government labs have been included in the process. Facilities in the government sector have improved, with TrueNat tests too being conducted,” a health official told TNIE.Meanwhile, to reduce the workload on healthcare workers in Ernakulam, Covid patients are being treated in home isolation. With nearly 220 healthcare workers having tested positive for the virus in the district, 1,015 Covid patients are under treatment at their homes. “Those in home isolation are closely monitored with the assistance of primary health centres in the vicinity of the patients’ residences,” said Dr S Sreedevi, additional DMO and district surveillance officer. 

“This alarming scenario, where a large number of healthcare staff are getting infected, poses a grave challenge. But we had foreseen it. If any discomfort or symptom is observed by patients under home care, arrangements will be made to shift them to Second-Line Treatment Centres or Covid hospitals.” The PVS Hospital, which has been taken over by the district administration and was declared an annexe of the Ernakulam General Hospital last week, has started treating Covid patients. According to a health official, there are 14 patients under treatment there.

Reverse quarantine for people with underlying medical conditions, especially those above 65 years and persons who are immune-compromised, has been strengthened in the district. Family members and local bodies have been tasked with providing medicine, food, counselling and other assistance to those who are set to undergo this exercise for their safety. Minister V S Sunil Kumar, who is in charge of the Covid fight in the district, said the aim is to keep the number of deaths low. So far, 45 Covid deaths have been reported from Ernakulam.

Active cases cross 3k-mark in Ernakulam

Kochi: Active Covid cases in the district on Friday crossed the 3,000-mark, with 295 new  cases reported on the day.  Among the fresh cases reported, 278 got infected through local transmission. Multiple cases were reported from Alangad, Edathala, Kumbalangi, Choornikkara,  Thiruvankulam, Thrikkakara, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Muvattupuzha and Vengola. Three health workers and five CISF personnel figure among the fresh cases even as the Covid spread was rampant in regions outside the major clusters identified in the district.

The area near the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital was gripped by panic when around 30 workers of a private company manufacturing medical disposables tested positive. According to the locals, the company is continuing its operations in violation of  Covid protocol even after the workers tested positive. “Last week around 20 workers tested positive and still the company did not shut down. They did not even adopt quarantine measures for the remaining workers including migrant labourers.

The residents have complained that they are violating quarantine norms and moving around freely in the area. However, after a series of complaints to the health department, the area was declared a containment zone on Thursday and the company was forced to shut down on Friday,” said A S Aboobacker, councillor of Ward 12.


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