Kerala has been reporting more than half of the country's total COVID-19 cases for the past few days, kicking up a heated exchange between the Centre and state's ruling CPI(M).
While health experts and policymakers in the state cited Kerala's lowest seroprevalence for reason of spike in daily COVID-19 cases, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar attacked the CPI(M)-ruled state, alleging that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's failures represents a big risk to all of India.
Hitting back at the BJP and its minister, senior CPI(M) leader and former Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac urged the Centre to provide more vaccines to Kerala than free advice.
Now, Union Minister of State for External Affairs (MoS MEA) V Muraleedharan has slammed the Kerala government over its "unscientific" relaxations during Eid. He also alleged that the state government has used the coronavirus pandemic for its political gains.
"The number of cases (in Kerala) has increased to such an extent that now it is more than half of the total tally of the country. The govt didn't follow scientific principles in the mgmt of COVID. It's a global pandemic, WHO & ICMR have issued guidelines," Muraleedharan told news agency ANI.
"But the Kerala govt has taken the stand that they follow their own principles & their own formula. Now it has come to light that their formula has failed. Govt should follow the scientific principles & formula. Kerala Govt has been using this pandemic for political gains," he added.
"The relaxation that was given on Eid was completely unscientific, it was completely against principles. Now the relaxation that has been given is not on the basis of cases increasing or decreasing, it's on political & vote bank considerations," the Union Minister further said.
Meanwhile, he said that the weekend lockdown announced by the Kerala government does not have any scientific basis. "Lockdown is not on basis of any scientific basis. Every Saturday-Sunday is a lockdown. As a result, people rush to markets on Fridays & it causes a spike. Govt should follow scientific principles, observe guidelines of ICMR & also not use COVID for political gains," Muraleedharan said.
Besdies, the Union Health Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Thursday decided to depute a high-level multidisciplinary team to Kerala.
The Centre's team will collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting effective public health measures for COVID-19 management.
The Centre is sending a 6-member team to Kerala headed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director, tweeted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
"As a large number of COVID cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid state's ongoing efforts in COVID-19 management," Mandaviya wrote.
The team shall reach Kerala on Friday, and visit a few districts, a health ministry release said.
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