The Kerala unit of the Indian Medical Association and the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) on Thursday told the state government that there should be a change in strategy to tackle the surging COVID-19 cases. KGMOA, the body of the medical doctors working under the Department of Health Services in the state, in its letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned about the delay in getting the results of COVID-19 tests. If there is going to be a delay in getting the test results, this mass testing exercise could turn counterproductive, they said.
However, KGMOA welcomed the increase in daily testing and also asked the government to increase the human resources in the health sector. "There should be a strategy to test the primary contact and to select target groups so as to make an effective intervention. There should be an increase in recruitment of health professionals cutting across the medical sectors as we need to see this for the next six months. If not, there will be a huge load on the existing human resources," KGMOA stated.
"The vaccination of people should take place systematically and quickly. There should be a complete stock taking on the available medical infrastructure and proper documentation should take place so as to take quick action, when an emergency arises. Strict protocols for crowd control should be in place," said the KGMOA.
In the highest single day spike, Kerala reported 26,995 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. This took the number of active cases to an all time high of over 1.56 lakh. Addressing the media, Indian Medical Association (IMA) State President PT Zacharias said that the coming two weeks are going to be very crucial and it's very essential to come up with curfews and micro containment zones.
"It's of prime importance to ensure that all medical professionals should stay safe by following all the protocols as it's crucial to patient care. Due to the elections there has been a breach of protocols and it's one reason why there has been a surge. And now on May 2, during counting day, absolute control should be maintained, if not things will get out of hand. Moreover these are times of festivals and that also should be restrained," said the IMA president.
The IMA also asked for the speedy conduct of the examinations for the medical professionals as replacements for outgoing house surgeons have to take place.
Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja reacted to the issues raised by medico sharply saying that mass testing was a strategy adopted by the expert committee to tackle COVID-19 in Kerala. The Minister reportedly slammed the association stating that they should not raise their inconveniences as an issue.