Staff appointments pending at many FLTCs in Ernakulam district

Some local bodies in the district, despite recording a number of COVID-19 cases within their limits, are finding it difficult to get first-line treatment centres (FLTCs) up and running.

For Ayavana panchayat, which had seen 78 COVID-19 cases since July, beds were set up at a school after the district administration issued orders that all local bodies must get an FLTC ready, said panchayat president Reby Jose. But, the centre is still awaiting staff appointments from the Health Department. The idea of running an FLTC on the limited financial resources of a panchayat was daunting, he said.

โ€œWe received โ‚น1 lakh from the State government for the facility, and have already spent about โ‚น6 lakh from the panchayatโ€™s own fund. Helpers and other staff like ambulance drivers will have to be paid for by the panchayat. It is hardly practical to begin operations of an FLTC in every panchayat,โ€ said Mr. Jose. Patients from the area are being transported to FLTCs further away in Perumbavoor or Kothamangalam.

A 100-bed FLTC had been set up at Thripunithura, but it was awaiting staff appointments, said municipality chairperson Chandrika Devi.

The Kadungalloor panchayat, which had seen over a 100 cases since July, had set up two FLTCs, each with over 40 beds, said panchayat president Ratnamma Suresh. Appointment of doctors and nurses are awaited to begin functioning. The centre was set up mostly using funds from benevolent sponsors, she said.

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