Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government on Tuesday announced that it would offer mental health support to all individuals present at the site of the bomb blasts during a Christian religious gathering in Ernakulam district two days ago.
Three people were killed and several injured in the blasts that were set off at the prayer meeting of Jehovah's witnesses held at an international convention centre in Kalamassery, near Kochi.
State Health Minister Veena George said that a dedicated mental health team will be made available to assist those affected by the blasts.
She said this assistance will be offered through mental health programmes and tele-counselling.
A helpline (14416) has been established for immediate mental health aid, the minister said in a statement after chairing a high-level meeting to assess the situation.
For individuals requiring more specialised support, advanced services are accessible within hospitals, it said.
The attendees at the Jehovah's Witnesses prayer meeting, where the blasts occurred, hail from various districts, including Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki, Alappuzha, and Thrissur.
According to the minister, 53 people sought medical attention, with 21 receiving treatment in various healthcare facilities following the blasts.
Among them, 16 were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in various hospitals, such as Kalamassery Medical College (3), Rajagiri Hospital (4), Ernakulam Medical Centre (4), Sunrise Hospital (2), Aster Medcity (2), and Kottayam Medical College (1).
The statement also said that the condition of three persons admitted to private hospitals remains critical.
To ensure expert medical care, a 14-member Medical Board consisting of the Health Director and expert doctors from various medical college hospitals has been constituted.
They will monitor the health of patients receiving treatment for injuries from the blast, it said, adding that the Health Department is taking measures to prevent any complications arising from secondary infections.
A few hours after the deadly blasts, a person named Dominic Martin, who claimed to be an estranged member of Jehovah's Witnesses, surrendered before police in the Thrissur district of the state, taking responsibility for the multiple blasts.
His arrest was recorded on Monday after a preliminary investigation.