Plan to convert unoccupied houses into quarantine centres takes a hit

The idea was to use unoccupied houses to quarantine more people without overburdening the existing institutional facilities.

Published: 26th June 2020 07:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2020 07:14 AM   |  A+A-

Quarantine Stamp

Image for representational purpose only. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The district administration’s plan to convert unoccupied houses into quarantine centres has hit a major road block with owners refusing to offer their homes due to fear and stigma associated with the pandemic.

The idea was to use unoccupied houses to quarantine more people without overburdening the existing institutional facilities. A few weeks back, the district administration issued an order making it possible for houses to be approved as institutional quarantine centres for one or more persons if they have necessary facilities including separate bathrooms and a room for each isolated person. 

“Initially, it was part of out plan. Then we had to factor in only small rent amount, which would be much less than the amount spent on other facilities. But home owners showed no interest in converting their houses into quarantine facilities. Fear of the virus and other possible repercussions might have spooked them,” said Anu S Nair, deputy collector, Disaster Management. 

“There are a lot of unoccupied houses across the state. We are trying to communicate this to the public as well as to the local bodies. The awareness should be done at the local level,” she added.  Earlier, during the first phase of lockdown, a handful of people had offered their house to be used as quarantine or treatment centres. However, the district administration not could not make use of them.

Only 10 percent contact cases in Kerala 
Health minister K K Shailaja said that majority of the Covid-19 cases reported are imported from other states. “Around 1.5 lakh of the total 2.5 lakh persons who arrived in the country from abroad are from Kerala. Only 10 percent contact cases are getting reported here,” said Shailaja said. 

Govt to fix rate of  Covid-19 test in pvt labs
Shailaja said the government has decided to fix the rate of Covid-19 test in private labs in the state. She said the order would be issued this week. Currently, ICMR has granted permission for two private labs in the state.

Two test positive for Covid-19 in district
T’Puram: Two people tested positive for Covid in the district on Thursday. A 45-year-old Thirumala (Valiyavila) native who returned on June 16 from Kuwait and a 40-year-old Odisha native who arrived from the state on June 22 are the fresh cases. The patient from Odisha reportedly has mental health issues.  As many as 839 new people were put under observation in the district on Thursday as part of Covid-19 containment efforts.  A total of 12 people are under hospital isolation now in the district while 22,013 people are under home quarantine. On Thursday, 41 people were newly admitted to hospital.


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