Kerala to relax lockdown curbs for Bakrid. Union minister offers a suggestion
As Kerala will be easing its ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown restrictions in the state for a few days owing to the Bakrid festival, Union minister V Muraleedharan said on Saturday the state government is not following a scientific approach to contain the spread of the viral disease.
Kerala, which is continuing to report a high number of cases, will see lesser restrictions on July 18, 19 and 20 due to Bakrid, which will be celebrated either on July 20 or 21. The government had earlier said that apart from shops selling essential items, those selling textile, footwear, jewellery and electronics will be allowed to remain open till 8pm and this will be applicable to A, B and C category local self-government bodies.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, said on Saturday that a maximum of 40 people will be allowed in places of worship during the festival and they should be inoculated with at least the first dose of the vaccine.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Union minister Muraleedharan said on Saturday despite Kerala accounting for a ‘lion share’ of infections across India, the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government is yet to adopt a scientific approach to contain the pandemic.
“Now that Bakrid has come, the government has announced a three-day exception for the lockdown. My suggestion is to follow the scientific approach and follow the guidelines of Government of India, ICMR guidelines and WHO. Do not utilise the pandemic as means of having political benefit out of it,” Muraleedharan added.
The Union minister also suggested the Kerala government should handle the pandemic and the lockdown on a scientific basis and provide exemptions on scientific methodology. “Instead of knee-jerk reactions, scientific analysis of the issues is the need of the hour,” he told ANI.
Kerala has so far 3,130,833 cases and 15,155 deaths due to Covid-19. The state on Saturday recorded another high of 13,750 cases while 130 more people succumbed to the viral disease. The active cases, which have been increasing for the past three weeks, stand at 121,944 while recoveries are nearing 3 million. A total of 25,060,933 samples have been tested in the state till now.
(With ANI inputs)