74 of 82 panchayats in Ernakulam declared containment zones 

Munambam harbour to be closed down; plan to increase Covid bed capacity in hospitals, steps taken to set aside 50% beds in private hosps for Covid patients

Published: 06th May 2021 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2021 06:36 AM   |  A+A-

Flouting social distancing norms, people gather in front of Ernakulam General Hospital to give their swab samples for Covid test on Monday | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Covid-19 has Ernakulam district firmly in its grip now, with thousands testing positive daily. With Wednesday’s count of newly infected at 6,558, the situation is threatening to spiral out of control. As the test positivity rate (TPR) crossed 25 per cent, 74 panchayats, including Manjapra, Palakkuzha and Munambam, have been declared containment zones. 

The decision was made in the Covid review meeting chaired by District Collector S Suhas and attended by the District Disaster Management Authority officials. At present, the TPR is at 27 per cent in the district. According to officials, Munambam harbour will be completely closed down. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, mentioned that three panchayats and Munambam harbour will be completely closed down. 

“It is not a complete lockdown imposed in these panchayats. They are declared containment zones. Those panchayats with TPR above 25 per cent are declared containment zones and strict restrictions  imposed in the region. Except for those stocking essential items, all other shops will be closed in the panchayats that have been placed in lockdown. No one will be allowed to travel unnecessarily,” said Ernakulam Rural SP K Karthick. 

Strict restrictions have been put in place in all containment zone regions other than Manneed, Kuttampuzha, Ilanji, Chottanikkara, Edakkattuvayal, Vadavukode, Puthencruz, Aarakuzha and Kizhakkambalam panchayats.  Meanwhile, measures have also been taken to increase the bed capacity in hospitals, including the Government Medical College Hospital at Kalamassery and General Hospital. An additional 250 beds at the MCH and 180 at the General Hospital are in the process of being set up. According to health officials, steps have also been taken to set aside 50 per cent of the beds in private hospitals for the treatment of Covid patients. 

According to Collector Suhas, interaction between those within the containment cone and those outside will be restricted. Arrangements should be made by contractors for labourers working at construction sites to stay at the sites or the vicinity. The CFLTCs will commence operation at Choornikkara, Sreemoolanagaram, and Kuttampuzha regions. “Vehicles transporting oxygen required for hospitals will be given GPS facility and sirens. Procedures have been put in place to make oxygen cylinders available from Cochin Shipyard and TELK,” said Suhas.  

“Long queues and rush at the testing centres will be monitored and regulated. The testing rate at the government facilities will also be increased. There is a shortage of testing kits as of now and measures will be taken to procure more kits. More mobile teams will also be deployed for testing,” said Suhas.

Restrictions imposed

  • Only stores  selling essential items will be allowed to open
  • People will not be allowed to travel unnecessarily
  • Hotels with takeaway facility will be allowed
  • No functions or gatherings will be allowed
  • Events like wedding, decided earlier, should be alerted at the nearest police station. Only 50 members are allowed to take part following Covid protocol

Covid update
Fresh cases     6,558
Recovered         2,732
Active cases     58,379
Total deaths     508


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