Kerala paying price, don’t be lax during festivals: Vardhan

1 week ago 24
google news

NEW DELHI: Cautioning state governments against laxity in Covid-19 containment during the festival season, health minister Harsh Vardhan cited Kerala to say the state was paying the “price for gross negligence” during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with increased travel for trade and tourism led to a spike in infections.
During his weekly ‘Sunday Samvaad’ on social media, Vardhan said Kerala “ought to serve as a good lesson for all states against being negligent” in planning anti-Covid-19 measures for the festival season. Kerala health minister K K Shailaja had recently said laxity by people during easing of restrictions for Onam had contributed to a rise in infections.
New cases of Covid-19 are increasing rapidly in Kerala. On Saturday, the state recorded 9,016 new cases, taking its tally to over 3.3 lakh while deaths stood at 1,139. Prior to Onam (August 22), the state had reported around 54,000 cases, while the death toll was nearly 200. The state has a low mortality rate of 0.4% but high positivity and growth rates point to the need for more testing, contact tracing and containment.
On China’s claim that the novel coronavirus broke out simultaneously in several countries last year, Vardhan said, “There is no evidence that can validate the claims on global multiple focal point for the novel coronavirus outbreak.” He added that Wuhan in China was recognised as the first to report the disease worldwide. Urging people to honour PM Modi’s call for a ‘Jan Andolan’, Vardhan asked citizens to celebrate festivals at home with their loved ones in the traditional way to ward off risk of Covid infection.
Though active cases have been steadily declining over the past few weeks, the Centre has asked states to maintain strict vigil on containment measures. The government has indicated that the next few months till December are going to be key as respiratory viruses have a tendency to thrive during winters.

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