Kochi: The Kerala government has announced the conversion of two thousand houseboats (houses built in boats) into isolation wards to fight the corona crisis. Kerala officials have said that they are converting the houseboats of the state into isolation wards for the patients of Corona. State Public Works Department Minister G. Sudhakaran said that work is going on to build at least 2,000 wards in houseboats. Sudhakaran said that, the boat owners have agreed to the proposal of the district administration and these wards will be ready by the end of April.
There are 700 licensed houseboats in the district, along with some six-room double decker boats. The film industry and some businessmen also have their own houseboats in Kuttanad. Some West Asian countries are planning to ban those countries which are refusing to call back their citizens. The United Arab Emirates has also issued a warning in this regard. At least one-third of the 3 million Indians in the UAE are residents of Kerala, so the state government wants to produce two lakh beds by the first week of May.
The Secretary General of Kerala Houseboat said that we are happy to hand over our boats to the government. Most of the boats have been closed since there has been no tourism activity in the last two months and we do not see any improvement in business in the coming months. By handing over our boats we are joining the global fight against Corona.