Rahul Gandhi expresses concern over rising Covid cases in Kerala
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday morning expressed concern over the rising cases of Covid-19 in Kerala.
“Rising cases of Coronavirus infections in Kerala are worrying,” Gandhi said on Twitter. He appealed to people in the state to follow all safety measures and guidelines.
The Wayanad MP’s tweet comes a day after the southern state reported 22,000 cases, accounting for 50% of India’s new cases. In the last four weeks, seven of Kerala’s 14 districts reported an increase in daily new infections, government data released earlier this week showed. The increasing trend in cases is triggering apprehensions that this spike might signal the early arrival of a third wave of the pandemic.
Kerala declared complete lockdown on July 31 and August 1in an attempt to curb the surge, news agency ANI reported on Thursday, citing state officials familiar with the development.
Elaborating on the matter, Kerala authorities said that some of the districts worst hit by the recent surge in Covid-19 are -- Malappuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kottayam.
Meanwhile, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Central government is sending a six-member team to Kerala, headed by the director of the National Centre for Disease Control. “As a large number of Covid cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid the state’s ongoing efforts in Covid-19,” the minister wrote on Twitter.
After the health minister’s announcement, MoS of Parliamentary Affairs V Murleedharan criticised the Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in the state and said the formula followed by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has failed. The union minister criticised the state government in Parliament for easing Covid-19 restrictions for Eid al-Adha, while several states cancelled other religious activities because of the pandemic.
Kerala government has claimed that it has increased the number of tests so that every single positive case is identified. “We are conducting maximum tests these days. Yesterday [Thursday], we conducted over 196,000 tests. Today we did more than 163,000 tests,” the state health minister stated.
Other southern states are also recording an increased number of cases. On Thursday, Karnataka’s Covid-19 case count crossed the 2,000 mark, after 19 days. Daily cases and positivity rates have also gone up in the districts neighbouring Kerala and in Bengaluru, Karnataka’s capital. Tamil Nadu recorded a spike in cases after 69 days. On Thursday, the state recorded 1,859 Covid-19 cases as compared to 1,756 cases on Wednesday.
India reported 557 deaths from the virus on Thursday, with Maharashtra recording 190 fatalities, Kerala 128 and Odisha 65.