LSGIs told to revive ward panels: CM

Tough action against those violating quarantine

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed local self-governments to revive the ward-level committees that had played a key role in COVID containment during the first wave and work with renewed vigil and vigour, so that the current pace of transmission can be brought down in two weeks.

The ward-level committees, which had efficiently taken care of contact tracing, quarantining, and other containment activities during the first wave, had fallen back to abysmal levels in recent times, he said.

If these committees took over contact tracing and monitoring of those families on home quarantine, disease transmission could be checked and the State could go back to normality faster, Mr. Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister was speaking at an online meeting of LSGIs here on Friday. The meeting was called in the context of the rising COVID-19 transmission in the State and to discuss the measures that needed to be taken at the grassroots level.

Mr. Vijayan said total lockdown, as had been done earlier, was no longer a viable solution for disease containment and that all public health experts were against it. The focus had to be on ward-level containment. Even though the number of daily new cases was around 32,000, these 32,000 cases could very well be 32,000 homes as one infected person in a family would have infected all family members in no time.

Ward-level committees should ensure that those quarantined in homes were not violating the quarantine. Those who violated quarantine and moving around freely in the community should be compulsorily removed to quarantine facilities at their own cost and be imposed a fine too, the Chief Minister said.

“These committees should also see to it that if the family has no facilities for home quarantine, they are moved to government’s quarantine facilities and that any elderly and those with comorbidities in the house are shifted to hospitals in the very initial days of the disease itself to prevent deaths,” Mr. Vijayan said.

Mr. Vijayan also asked the LSGIs to task the ward-level committees with the responsibility of ensuring that all families on home quarantine were rendered all assistance in daily living, such as buying groceries or other food or medicines.

He directed the LSGIs to undertake a special campaign to encourage vaccination.

Local Self-Governments Minister M.V. Govindan, Health Minister Veena George, Chief Secretary V.P. Joy, senior officials, LSGI representatives from across the State took part in the meeting.

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