THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With all primary contacts of Pothencode native Abdul Azeez, 68, the second Covid-19 patient to die in the state, not being established yet, the possibility of community spread to a bigger level cannot be unruled. Taking this into consideration, the district administration on Tuesday enforced the complete home quarantine for people in Pothencode panchayat for three weeks while the nearby panchayats of Manikkal, Mangalapuram and Vembayam, and the Ariyottukonam-Melemukku region of the city corporation will see a complete quarantine for two weeks. A call centre will also be opened for people in these regions.
“We have the situation under control. What gives us hope is the fact that all 185 people who were initially put under quarantine in the panchayat don’t have any serious symptoms. We are now preparing for the complete quarantine,” said Pothencode panchayat president Venugopalan Nair. The people here were largely dependent on the Thonnakkal Primary Health Centre for their medical needs but that has not been completely shutdown for disinfection as the deceased had visited the centre twice with symptoms. Now, with the panic setting in because of the death, people are flocking to the next nearest health centre at Mangalapuram.
“We had a large number of patients on Tuesday. There are two doctors at the hospital who work on alternate days. Most of the people now arriving here are from the Vavarambalam region which is barely 5km away. They are all coming with fever or cold, worried that they have contracted the virus. The death has left everyone spooked and is in turn creating more health risks. We have all precautionary measures in place, except that we are running short of masks,” said a medical staffer of Mangalapuram Primary Health Centre.
In Manikkal panchayat, even the few scattered people who are usually found on the streets everyday despite the lockdown could not be seen on Tuesday. “We have received no order as of now about the complete home quarantine. As soon as we get the mail, we will deploy our teams which are all on standby,” said Manikkal panchayat president Sujatha S.