As the number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala rises alarmingly, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan has criticized the state administration for failing to follow ‘scientific standards’ in the management of the pandemic.
According to the minister, the number of instances in Kerala has grown to the point that it now accounts for more than half of the country’s total. Kerala accounted for 22,056 of the 43,509 new coronavirus infections recorded on Thursday.
The state government’s decision to grant relaxations for Eid was ‘totally unscientific’ and ‘absolutely against principles,’ the minister pointed out.
‘The relaxation that has been given is not on the basis of cases increasing or decreasing, it is on political and vote bank considerations,’ Muraleedharan said.
The Pinarayi Vijayan government’s decision to allow footwear, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items to open from 7 am to 8 pm on July 18, 19 and 20 ahead of Eid drew widespread criticism, with the Supreme Court demanding an explanation from the government.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) stated that it was ‘unfortunate that the learned state of Kerala had taken these retrograde decisions,’ even as ‘many northern states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety the traditional and popular pilgrimage yatras.’
The state’s lockdown, according to the Union minister, is not scientific. ‘Every Saturday-Sunday is a lockdown. As a result, people rush to markets on Fridays and it causes a spike. The government should follow scientific principles, observe guidelines of ICMR and also not use COVID for political gains,’ he added.
The Kerala government has stated that it follows its own principles and formula, said Muraleedharan, who also accused the CPI(M)-led state administration of using the pandemic for political advantage.