New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday attributed to the worsening Covid-19 situation in Kerala to the state government’s “gross negligence” during the recent Onam festivities.
“The state is paying the price of its gross negligence. There were huge congregations during Onam and adequate safety measures were not taken.
“Epi(demic) curve of Kerala changed completely due to Onam festivities across the state… the daily new cases nearly doubled,” he said in “Sunday Samvaad”, his Sunday webinar for his social media followers.
Noting that state-wise unlocking of services, along with an increase in intra- and inter-state travel for trade and tourism, led to the spreading of Covid-19 cases across various districts of Kerala, Harsh Vardhan stressed that this ought to serve as a good lesson for all the state governments which were being negligent in planning for the festival season.
The first confirmed Covid-19 case in India was reported in Kerala on January 30. Between January 30 and May 3, Kerala reported only 499 cases and two deaths and the cases were concentrated in only a few districts. It took 203 days to breach the 50,000-mark in total Covid cases as the state managed to rein in the spread of the infection with stringent surveillance.
However, the next 50,000 were reached within the next 23 days. And on October 13, Kerala’s Covid-19 tally crossed the three lakh mark.
On Saturday, 9,016 new cases of infection were reported from the state. A central team was sent to the state to examine why the situation has worsened over the past few weeks.
As per the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the load of active Covid-19 cases in Kerala has brought into the list of six worst-affected states in the country. Kerala’s TPR is highest at 17.31 per cent against the national average of 8 per cent.