While a few months ago, Kerala was an example of what to do to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, in the last one month it has become an example of what not to do, as contradicting the national trend of active cases gradually dropping, Kerala is reporting a sharp spike of daily number of Covid-19 cases for the past few days. It has even surpassed Maharashtra as far as daily cases are concerned.
Recently, the Tripura High Court has cited the example of Kerala’s Onam festival and asked the authorities to be cautious ahead of festivities in October. Karnataka is also considering Onam an example of what not to do in Dasara.
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
The ongoing spike started in September. While in early September, the state was reporting a spike of near 2, 000 cases, last week Kerala reported a single-day spike of 11,755 cases.
What happened in last one month?
Onam: Onam was celebrated from the last week of August to September first week. Though social distancing norms were in place and people were asked to celebrate Onam in their houses, over 100 per cent jump in daily cases were reported after Onam.
Massive political protests: The state saw several political protests in August and September. For example, three young political leaders who led protests against minister KT Jaleel in September tested positive. The minister has been accused of distributing Quran brought in diplomatic baggage from the UAE and seeking aid from the Consulate during Ramadan.
Unlock: Like the rest of the country, Kerala has relaxed many restrictions adhering to the protocols of unlocking. The state is now open to tourists as well. Kerala health minister KK Shailaja earlier said the situation in the state is not grim as the mortality rate is low. “The ultimate aim is to reduce the mortality rate. We could contain cases when there was lockdown. But now measures are eased. We can’t blame the government for easing restrictions because people need to work and earn or else they will starve to death. But people need to follow all precautions,” the minister had said.
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