Kerala govt comes up with 'robust' plan for safe Sabarimala pilgrimage in COVID-19 times

The state health department said a total of 1000 health staff including specialist doctors will be deputed to various centres in and around the shrine to help devotees

Published: 11th November 2020 03:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2020 03:33 PM   |  A+A-


By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the safe conduct of the two-month-long Mandala-Makaravilakku fest at the Sabarimala Temple amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the state health department has come up with an action plan.

The department said a total of 1000 health staff including specialist doctors will be deputed to various centres in and around the shrine to help devotees. It has also been decided to provide free treatment to devotees who are beneficiaries of the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP).

For this, 48 government/private hospitals at Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts has been empanelled by the State Health Agency. Those who were coming outside from the state could make use of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) card for the same.

“A safe conduct of the fest is being planned. The department has chalked out a robust plan considering the superspreading outbreaks that get reported at various parts of the world in connection with various pilgrim fests” said KK Shailaja, health minister.

According to the minister, the services of assistant surgeons, cardiologists, general medicine doctors, orthopedists and others have been ensured. The staff to be appointed for the fest will get selected from the health department, medical education department and COVID brigade. They will get appointed on a rotation basis. It is learnt that while specialist doctors’ rotation will be for one week, others will have to serve for 15 days.

“Dispensaries will get opened at Sannidhanam, Pampa, Nilakkal, Ayyapan Road and Erumeli. Also, an emergency operation theatre will be set up at Sannidhanam. In addition to that, the facilities at Pathanamthitta general hospital, Erumeli CHC and Kanjirapally Taluk Hospital will be further strengthened. Kottayam government medical college is also fully equipped to attend to the needs of the pilgrims," added the minister.

It is learnt that a total of 20 ambulances will be operated free of cost for attending to medical emergencies of devotees.

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