Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking him not to entrust the job of contact tracing of Covid patients to the police. It said this job should be done by experts in the field of medicine.
The IMA was responding to Vijayan's statement on Monday that the police has been given more powers and authority which includes contact tracing.
For coordinating the new arrangement Vijayan had given top police official Vijay Sakhre the charge to see that the police takes a tough stance to ensure there is no let up in managing Covid protocols.
"The change would be from now on places where primary and secondary Covid will be mapped, only such areas will be declared as containment areas. And once an area is declared, none will be allowed to go out or come in. The police and volunteers will ensure that necessary supplies reach the homes. The zone would be removed from the list after the primary and secondary contacts in that area turn negative " said Vijayan on Monday .
The police will see that there will be no more crowding in shops, markets and other places. Strict action would be taken if there are any violations," added Vijayan in his daily press meet on Monday .
President of the IMA, Joseph Chacko in his letter to Vijayan said the police should be given the job of enforcing proper quarantine measures and other such things.
"The job of contact tracing has to be done by medical professionals and not by others and if such a thing does not happen, it could lead to serious issues. We are also apprehensive of the proposed reverse quarantine centres that are being proposed. A few countries tried this and it turned out to be a big disaster and hence we are of the opinion that more serious thought should be given before a decision is taken," said Chacko.
The IMA also pointed out that with many key government hospitals turning into Covid centres, the need of the hour was to set up a hospital in every district as non-Covid treatment centres.
"Those private hospitals which are presently closed should be infused with the proper infrastructure so that they are turned into treatment centres for Covid. Moreover, we are also concerned that with many Covid First Line Treatment Centres being opened, those centres do not have adequate staff and hence instead of appointing staff from other medical centres, temporary appointments in all the categories should take place at these new centres," said Chacko.
The IMA while welcoming the decision of keeping asymptomatic Covid positive patients at their homes asked that certain basic instruments like pulse oximeter, digital thermometer and digital BP apparatus should be provided to all such patients.
"Everyday such patients should be monitored by the medical professionals and if there is any change in any parameters, such patients should be moved in an ambulance to the nearby hospitals," added Chacko.