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COVID-19 | Kochi police adopt multi-pronged approach to tackle virus

Focus on facilitating treatment, set up 70 help desks

The city police commissionerate has stepped up the fight against COVID-19 by adopting a multi-pronged approach focussed on facilitating treatment to the infected and stopping the spread of the disease through intense screening.

The police have set up 70 help desks, 20 each at the South and North railway stations and the Collectorate and five each at Vytilla mobility hub and the KSRTC station, for screening

“We are carrying out screening of everyone entering the city either by bus or train with the help of paramedical staff, which is very critical to identify potential carriers and quarantine them. Apart from screening and checking their temperature, we also track their travel and contact history. Those with symptoms are sent to the government or taluk hospitals where they further screen them and send the potentially serious cases to the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) at Kalamassery where they are either admitted or quarantined,” said District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare.

The police screened 2,500 passengers on Monday, out of which 55 suspicious cases were sent to the MCH where five were admitted while the rest were asked to remain quarantined at home.

On Tuesday, 1,700 people were screened, out of which 41 suspicious cases were sent to MCH and all of them were asked to remain in home quarantine. The idea is to identify every suspicious case and quarantine them to ‘break the chain,’ Mr. Sakhare said.

Around 220 people are remaining in home quarantine within the city limits and the police have stepped up monitoring to ensure that they are indeed remaining quarantined and not moving around.

“Every single person is being visited by five different teams and they are being educated about the dangers they pose to their dear ones and others by breaking the quarantine protocol. We also make daily video calls to them and offer them every possible assistance, which is psychologically soothing as they are convinced that they are being cared for,” said Mr. Sakhare.

Besides, the police are cracking down on the fake social media posts, including unscientific advices with the help of the Cyberdome and the Cyber Cell.

The police have suspended giving permissions to all kinds of mass gatherings, whether political or religious, and warned of legal action against those found violating them.

Aid for foreigners

Besides setting up an exclusive control room for the fight against COVID-19, the city police also have started a foreigners outreach desk offering all support to foreigners from accommodation and transport to food.

With 14-days quarantine made mandatory for every foreigner entering the city, the city police commissionerate has commandeered 500 rooms with the approval of the District Collector for quarantine purposes.

“We are also tracking down all foreigners, whether they are in homestays or hotels. They will be asked to undergo the 14-day quarantine either at their place of stay or alternative space will be arranged if they want to move out,” said Mr. Sakhare.

On their part, the police have avoided all physical meetings and shifted them to the virtual platform with the aid of an app. Every police station has also been supplied with protection gear.

The city police commissionerate has also stepped up the social media presence by posting informative videos of authorised agencies on fighting and preventing the epidemic on the Facebook page of the commissionerate.

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