“The state is paying the price of its gross negligence."
Covid-19 cases in Kerala have seen an increase with reported 7,631 cases on Sunday, 18 October 2020 alone.
This took the state’s tally to 341,859. 245,399 of these cases have recovered.
However, according to the health department, active cases have increased to 95,200.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, 18 October 2020, there were 22 deaths which have taken the death toll to 1,161.
Prior to the release of Sunday’s figures, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that the negligence during the Onam festival caused the rise in cases. He explained:
“The state is paying the price of its gross negligence. There were huge congregations during Onam and adequate safety measures were not taken.”
He added that other states should take heed from Kerala’s experience and mend their ways.
Vardhan’s criticism came after a government-appointed expert committee warned against relaxing measures during the festival.
Reacting to the Union Health Minister’s comment, Kerala Social Security Mission, Dr Mohammad Asheel said:
“What the minister said is wrong. The death rate is lowest here and we have a high recovery rate also. Politics should be kept away from the pandemic.”
However, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said Dr Asheel was pointing out “pitfalls” like Vardhan.
He also added that the government must increase the number of tests.
In fact, the first confirmed Covid-19 case in India was reported in Kerala on January 30, 2020.
From January 30 to May 3, Kerala reported only 499 cases with two deaths. However, on October 13, the number of Covid-19 cases in Kerala was allegedly more than 300,000.
Now, Kerala is one of the six worst affect states in India.
On Saturday, 17 October 2020, 9,016 new cases were reported.
On Sunday, the test positivity rate (TRP) was at 13.06%. Despite this, the state government stated Kerala’s mortality rate is 0.40%.
This is low compared to the national average of 1.50%.
Although, this has been criticised by many experts who have condemned the government in finding sanctuary in records.
Experts have also asked the government to increase the level of tests placing more emphasis on RT-PCR tests.
They have added that repeat tests should not be included in the state’s figures and more ventilators and ICU beds are required.
The current rate has worried experts who fear intensive care units will not be able to deal with the increase in the current rate.
Reportedly, a health team is visiting Kerala to access the current situation.