District Collector S Suhas issued the order to tackle the severe shortage of trained medical personnel who could identify and quarantine those affected by COVID-19.

In a first Kerala Collector orders private paramedics to help contain COVID-19
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 08:36

In an unprecedented move to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, a district administration in Kerala has ordered medical and paramedical staff of private hospitals and non-governmental agencies to be roped in to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state. 

In an order issued on March 15, Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas, in his capacity as District Magistrate and Empowered Officer of the Disaster Management Act 2005, 'commandeered that medical and paramedical staff of various private hospitals and non-governmental institutions, whose services can be spared by these establishments without affecting their routine activities, be made available to the agencies involved in preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19”.  

The order was issued to attend to the severe shortage of trained medical personnel who could identify and quarantine those affected by COVID-19, which is increasing in the state. 

The Collector, in his order, added that the Commissioner of Police, Kochi, the Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam and the Sub-Divisional Magistrates of districts can contact the hospitals and other agencies who can spare their medical and paramedical staff to help contain the spread of the virus, in consultation with the District Health Authority.

Kerala has so far reported 27 cases of COVID-19, out of which three have already recovered. Twenty-four positive cases are currently placed in isolation in the state. On March 16, three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed. All three persons had returned from the Middle East countries with one flying in from Dubai and another person from Saudi Arabia. Two of the positive cases landed in Malappuram while the third one was reported from Kasaragod.

Meanwhile, over 15 medical staff have been placed under observation at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology after a doctor who flew in from Spain tested positive for the virus on March 15. The doctor who worked at the Digital Subtraction Angiography lab from March 2 to March 5 had landed in Thiruvananthapuram on March 1 and was only quarantined on the 12. 

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