Kerala

CM targets Opposition for COVID surge post Onam

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has once again blamed the Opposition parties for putting the State and its COVID-19 containment activities in jeopardy through the irresponsible manner in which violent Statewide agitations were organised in the State post-Onam festivities.

He said it was not true that the relaxations given by the government during Onam festivities was what had led to the surge in disease transmission in the State. Addressing the media here on Monday, Mr. Vijayan alleged that the State was now suffering the consequences of the total let-down in vigil and the deliberate acts of throwing all caution to the winds and organising mass congregations that violated all COVID-related physical distancing protocols in place in the State.

Prior to Onam itself, the government and the Health department had issued several guidelines and strictures on how Onam celebrations should not violate COVID-19 protocols and that people had to avoid congregations.

He said the public were also vigilant and had cooperated to a large extent with the regulations. The police were very vigilant during the Onam season, as is evidenced by the number of cases registered for violation of COVID-19 protocols during that time.

However, when the entire health system machinery, aided by the police and the public, were trying in unison to put up a joint front against COVID-19, it was the blatant manner in which “some people” had deliberately violated the protocols and let down the vigil that had led the State to the current epidemic situation, Mr. Vijayan alleged.

“At a crucial stage of disease containment, the actions by very responsible persons gave the wrong message to the public that it was okay to let down the guard and that COVID-19 was not a big deal. That was the turning point in the State’s fight against the pandemic. Everyone should learn the lessons from this and move forward together in fighting the pandemic,” he said.

He said that Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was not criticising or censuring the State when he spoke about Kerala’s experience. Rather, he was pointing to Kerala’s experience to warn other States, where grand festivities were in the offing in the next few months.

Mr. Vijayan said that Kerala was following the scientific strategy of containing disease transmission as far as possible so that the peak of the epidemic would be delayed.

This strategy benefited the State so that the State got the time to prepare and strengthen the health system. The strategy had helped ensure that the health system was not overwhelmed, so that more lives could be saved. Even when the State was bracing to meet the peak of the epidemic, the case fatality rate could be kept low at the current 0.28% because of the scientific manner in which Kerala was managing the crisis, he claimed.

Rather than be proud of the State’s achievements, “some people” were out to discredit the State, he alleged.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:25:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cm-targets-opposition-for-covid-surge-post-onam/article32895781.ece

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