Kasaragod, April 10, 2020: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that in case of emergencies, patients from Kasaragod will be airlifted to hospitals in other Kerala districts. The announcement came as one more Kasaragod native died without getting timely treatment for a non-COVID related health issue.
“There has been the issue of Kasaragod patients not being able to pass through the Karnataka border. One more person has died without getting treatment. To ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again, the patients will be taken to hospitals in other Kerala districts. If necessary, we will consider using air transportation,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
According to reports, Kasaragod native Abdul Salim died on Wednesday night due to a heart ailment. The family of the deceased had tried to take him to a hospital in Mangaluru for treatment two days back but were blocked by Karnataka officials at the Thalappady border. On April 8, Karnataka government had granted permission for ambulances carrying non-COVID-19 patients to cross the border, abiding by certain procedures.
According to reports, a total of 12 persons with non-COVID related ailments have so far lost their lives in Kasaragod due to delay in treatment after lockdown.
12 new positive cases in Kerala
Kerala recorded 12 new COVID-19 positive cases taking the total number to be 357. A total of 97 people have so far recovered, while 258 are still under treatment for the disease.
Among the 12 new cases, four each are from Kannur and Kasaragod, two people from Malappuram and one each from Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Eleven of them contracted the disease by primary contact, while one person returned from abroad.
Mentioning that 100 days have passed since the pandemic started in the state, the CM said, “Since there is no increase in the spread of the disease, some are thinking that we are safe. But this should not be the reason to violate lockdown regulations.”
Pinarayi also cautioned that people should continue practising social distancing. “Easter and Vishu (festival) are coming, those who go to shop for these festivals should strictly make sure there is social distancing. Police should ensure this. If there is carelessness, anything can happen, that is the situation,” said the CM.
Eight foreigners (tourists) who had COVID-19 and had been staying in the state have been discharged. This includes one tourist in Varkala of Thiruvananthapuram and seven UK nationals in Kochi.
Of the patients under treatment in Kerala, 7.5% are over 60 years old, while 6.9% people are below the age of 20 years.
The CM also said that four new labs will be opened to expand testing, in four days. “We aim to start 14 labs, one for each district,” he said.
He also said that measures are being taken to start localised health care for patients of Thiruvananthapuram’s Regional Cancer Centre. “Health department will make sure the follow up treatment can be done at local hospitals. A list of such hospitals will be published soon,” he said.
More lockdown relaxations
Kerala CM also announced that opening of book shops once or twice a week will be considered as children who stay at home need books.
The shops selling fertilisers, seeds and insecticides will be allowed to be open from 7 am to 11 am. Timing to pay electricity and water bills for private hospitals will be changed.
The CM also said that women who sell fish locally by going from home to home, should not be denied passes from fishing harbours. “It is not right to obstruct a livelihood. This was noticed and we have intervened,” said Pinarayi.
“We will give permission to beedi workers in northern Kerala districts, who work from home, to continue to take their processed beedis to the required firms once or twice a week,” he added.
Courtesy:The News Minute