The manner in which the Kerala government adopted relaxations in the COVID-19 lockdown, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid) is controversial, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said on Tuesday, hitting out at the Pinarayi Vijayan government for easing restrictions.
A state-wide complete lockdown in Kerala was withdrawn on June 16 and the state allowed a three-day relaxation in Covid-19 restriction in the state for Bakrid allowing textile shops, jewellery, footwear shops etc to open for three days from Sunday.
With the weekend lockdown in place, massive overcrowding was reported during the five weekdays.
The positivity rate in the state continues to remain over 10 per cent and between 10,000 to 15,000 fresh cases are being reported daily. The mortality rate, however, is below the national average.
While speaking to ANI, Dr JA Jayalal, President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) urged the Kerala government to rethink its ‘controversial’ policy.
“The way in which they adopted the lockdown is very controversial. They are giving intermittent lockdown for two days. There are somewhere 15k to 16k people getting infected daily and the economy also depends upon when a patient gets infected. The family of the person who gets infected is indisposed for two to three weeks. They cannot go to their job, they are isolated and the best way is to prevent this from happening,” he said.
“If your policy is bringing down the number of people infected, then it is fine. But when caseload is increasing, effective means have to be adopted to bring down the numbers,” he stated.
“We are definitely not saying that entire lockdown has to be enforced. But if a policy of two days of lockdown is undertaken and the rest of the days are free, a rush is natural. Instead of that, you can evenly distribute it and ensure people are wearing the mask,” Dr Jayalal said.
The IMA suggests that there must be a mutual discussion between the state government, the medical fraternity and business owners to lessen the crowd movement and stick it to a specific time.
Earlier on Sunday, the IMA in a release urged the Kerala government to immediately withdraw the order to ease out lockdown on the pretext of the religious gathering of Bakri Eid mentioning it as ‘unwarranted’ and ‘inappropriate’.
“The government is considering the situation and they are in discussion with the officials and other stakeholders. The case is coming up in the Supreme Court. We are waiting for the response on this issue,” Jayalal said.
IMA stated that any kind of gathering will act as fuel for the spread of the virus.
On July 19 Supreme Court asked the Kerala government to file a response on an application against the three-day relaxation for Bakrid.
The apex court on Tuesday pulled up the Kerala government and said it is a shocking state of affairs that the Kerala government has given in to the demand of traders in relaxing lockdown norms.
“Pressure of any manner cannot infringe upon the most precious right of Right to Life for citizens of India, if any untoward incident takes place then any public can bring it to our notice and action will be taken accordingly,” the Supreme Court said.
It added, “We direct Kerala to give heed to Article 21 read with Article 144 of the constitution of India and follow our orders given in the Kanwar yatra case.” (ANI)