In the wake of coronavirus cases increasing, Kerala has decided to form a Covid Brigade to man the Covid First-Line Treatment Centres (CFLTCs) in the State.
Announcing this, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Covid Brigade will be set up by mobilising additional manpower resources in addition to the health department staff,
“More people are needed to strengthen Covid defensive operations in view of the rising numbers of cases. We have worked out an integrated action plan. In addition to the staff in the health department, more contract health workers, including those from the National Health Mission, will be appointed,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that these people will get a higher salary, as determined from time to time and there will be a proportional increase. They will also be covered by health insurance and will be given incentives too. The Covid Brigade should be seen as an army that includes doctors, nurses, other paramedical staff as well as volunteer, Vijayan said.
The CM also informed that special health care will be provided to all contract employees in the Covid Brigade and they will be given free treatment if they become ill during their service. Certificates of appreciation will be given to students who have been involved in the Covid defence activities. The remuneration for those currently engaged in these activities will be increased. For those in the Grade 4 category, the current daily salary of Rs 450 will be increased to Rs 1,000. He also requested the support and participation of more people in this Covid Brigade.
50 per cent active cases in four districts
Vijayan said Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts have half of the active corona cases.
“About 65% of the cases reported in the last two weeks are in Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Ernakulam and Kollam districts. We were able to control the spread of the disease initially by announcing a lockdown. However, the situation changed when more people started coming from outside. Break the Chain campaign, social distancing and other safety measures were well implemented but that too has come down now. We are in the third phase of the outbreak in the State. We must strictly follow the Covid protocol, wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing. Our actions now will decide our future in the next few weeks”, he said.