Kerala is paying price of gross negligence during Onam, says Harsh Vardhan

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday blamed Kerala’s negligence during Onam festival for the sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. Addressing his weekly social media programme Sunday Samvaad, the minister said every state should take a lesson from Kerala situation. “The state is paying the price of its gross negligence. There were huge congregations during Onam and adequate safety measures were not taken,” the minister said.

Between January 30 and May 3, Kerala reported only 499 cases and two deaths and the cases were concentrates in only a few districts, the minister said adding the resumption of interstate and intrastate travel started triggering the number.

The first confirmed Covid-19 case in India was reported in Kerala on January 30. 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 was 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. Health experts said the next few weeks are critical for the state and asked officials and public not to lower their guard during the festive season.

The state, however, government has claimed that the situation is not yet grim as Kerala’s recovery rate is high — daily recoveries are higher than daily infections.

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