THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The district administration is facing different challenges in the large clusters of Covid-19 cases that have formed. While the closed environment of Poojapura Central Jail where 479 people, including prisoners and staff, have tested positive is the main issue, Anchuthengu offers the challenge of fighting misinformation and reluctance to undergo tests among people. The unbridled inter-state travel travel through byroads makes containing the pandemic spread difficult in Parassala.
“In the Poojapura prison, the first block where a positive case was reported has a dormitory facility. Close to 30 prisoners stay together. We are looking at two possibilities there. Either one of the staff members was the carrier or a prisoner got infected when he went outside. Some of them used to be taken outside for work,” said a health department official. The virus went undetected for many days. A majority of the prisoners who tested positive are asymptomatic.
In Anchuthengu, 300 are patients are currently lodged at various Covid First-Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs). “The test positivity was less on Monday. In 46 tests done, only nine persons were positive. The graph is encouraging. We are ready to do as many tests as possible with the cooperation of people. We have 215 pregnant people in the region. Some of them are positive. Now, we are trying to get everyone tested,” said Dr Ramakrishna Babu, in charge of tests in Anchuthengu.
The district administration is facing a crucial issue here with public protesting against the declaration of containment zones and demanding its lifting. They have also refused to do tests in many places. “Misinformation and lack of awareness is a major factor here. Many here are asymptomatic patients. They are taken to CFLTCs and when they test negative, they are sent back. They have a specific food culture and comfort zones and we are taking them out of it. Then, there are also politically motivated issues. We are tackling them one at a time,” said a district administration official.
Even on Monday, the public assembled violating Covid protocol demanding further relaxations in restrictions. “The lack of necessary facilities in some CFLTCs has also played a major role in upsetting the people. We have some limitations but we are trying to work with it. The food supplied is a major point of contention between the patients and CFLTC officials. Sometimes, the food supply is based on head count and many have large appetite which often results in disagreements. At all levels, from volunteers to health workers, many are in distress about the situation here,” said the official. In Parassala. the entire Kerala-Tamil Nadu border stretch has reported massive numbers.