IMA warns Kerala CM against engaging police in contact tracing

Published: Aug 4, 2020, 4:02 pm IST

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.

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.

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