A total of 83 persons have tested positive for the coronavirus in Chellanam, a coastal panchayat near Kochi.

Minister VS Sunil Kumar and Ernakulam Collector S Suhas in a press meet Both are wearing face masks and Minister Sunil Kumar can be seen answering media
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 18:42

The COVID-19 situation in Chellanam,  a coastal panchayat of Ernakulam district remains critical, said Kerala Minister VS Sunil Kumar who is in charge of the containment of the pandemic in the district. He said that 33 persons in the panchayat had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

The coastal panchayat near Kochi, has been reporting COVID-19 cases due to local transmission over the past two weeks. “A total of 83 persons have so far tested positive for the virus from the panchayat. The situation remains critical. More positive cases are expected to be reported from the place as more people are being tested,” the minister said.

Chellanam is one of the COVID-19 containment zones in the state where triple lockdown is being enforced from July 13 to July 23. Although the results of the 33 COVID-19 patients came on Monday, it is yet to be included in the bulletin released by the Health Department.

Reacting to questions posed by reporters over whether the government was trying to hide the number of COVID-19 patients, Minister Sunil Kumar said that the numbers were not updated in the database due to a technical glitch.

“The data entry operator tested positive for the coronavirus and someone else had taken over the duty. It was a technical error from the person who entered the data. There is nothing to hide and why should we,” said Sunil Kumar.

Considering the increasing cases in the panchayat, Minister Sunil Kumar said that a First Line Treatment Centre (FLTC) will be started at the hall adjacent to St Antony’s Church in the panchayat. FLTC’s are facilities where asymptomatic or those patients with mild symptoms will be treated. The centre will have 50 beds.

“Three squads are functioning in the panchayat to test all the symptomatic people in the region. By Tuesday evening, this will be over and we expect more positive results,” said Minister Sunil Kumar.

Meanwhile, a doctor of Government General Hospital in Ernakulam, was also found to be positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. But officials stated that normal functioning of the hospital will not be affected.

The district administration has also given instruction to all local bodies to start FLTCs. Kochi Corporation has been directed to prepare at least 50-bed FLTCs in each of its wards, while panchayats are directed to prepare 50 to 100 bed FLTCs.

Read: Over 70% of Kerala's first 500 COVID-19 patients were below 45: Govt study

Watch FLTC centre prepared near Kochi airport:

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