Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has put forward a 14-point proposal before the state government to help bring things under control and tackle the second Covid-19 wave in Kerala. The letter was handed over to the Chief Secretary.
In his letter, Chennithala has put forward proposals in four areas – treatment, prevention, research and crisis management. The Leader of the Opposition suggested that the government must strengthen the local bodies to prevent the spread of the disease and ensure their participation in the fight against Covid-19.
Chennithala has pointed that the state government needs to place an Admission Protocol to ensure the admission of critically ill patients at the earliest. “Financially-abled and influential people are being admitted to hospitals as a precautionary measure even when they see minor symptoms. This makes it impossible to admit critically ill patients. Therefore, admission should be provided through a referral system. A network for first aid and referral system should be set up across the state,” he said.
As the state and the country could run out of ICUs and ventilators, Chennithala said the LDF government should take over all ICUs and ventilator ICUs and create a 'common pool'. Hospitals should then admit patients following the admission protocol under the supervision of the District Medical Board. The Leader of Opposition also said that in addition to hospitals, beds in private clinics, dental clinics and OPDs should be made available for emergency use.
It is not just ICUs and ventilator shortage but also health workers. In his letter, Chennithala said that there are widespread complaints that there is a shortage of trained doctors and health workers. Therefore, all doctors and health professionals in the public and private sectors in the state should be trained in Covid-19 treatment. It can seek help from organizations like Indian Medical Association (IMA). This training can complete in three days.
Chennithala has urged the state government to ensure the availability of life-saving drugs and oxygen cylinders. “Ensure that life-saving drugs and steroids such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab are used sparingly. Care should be taken not to hoard these drugs.
The Opposition Leader also said that the government needs to treat the current situation as a health emergency and, there is a need to control the cost of treatment in private hospitals. “No one was denied admission to hospitals due to financial hardship. Below Poverty Line (BPL) families should also be guaranteed free treatment in private hospitals,” Chennithala proposed.
He also requested that the vaccination should continue on a wartime basis. “Our state can also take the position that the vaccines should be made available in the open market as well,” he said.
With some people urging the central government to call for a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, the Opposition Leader said that there is no need for a state-level lockdown. “A lockdown will make people miserable and disrupt their daily routine. Instead, adopt a micro-contamination strategy that imposes strict controls on disease-prone areas. For example, instead of setting time limits for shops and crowds should be controlled through the local system,” Chennithala proposed.
The Leader of Opposition has urged the state government to tighten social distance, usage of masks and sanitisers in the state. He urged the government to increase testing to detect and prevent the spread of the disease in the community. He added that contact lists must be prepared and quarantine procedures should be tightened.
The opposition leader said that research on the mode of transmission and genetic modification of the virus is essential. “We need to study how the daily mortality rate in the state due to viral infections varies,” he said.
Chennithala has asked the government to equip local bodies to help tackle the crisis. “The most important thing is to equip the local bodies to deal with the current crisis. The funds they need should be made available immediately,” he said.
The opposition leader also pointed out that a comprehensive plan should be formulated and implemented to create awareness among the people about prevention and treatment. He also asked the government to ensure that the Departments of Health, Home Affairs, Local Government and Revenue work in coordination.