Kerala Health Minister, Congress spar over Covid situation

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19 (IANS) Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday warned that the present Covid scenario in the state is getting serious and it appears to have become a super spreader, while the Congress party blamed the state government and the CPI-M for failing to rise to the occasion.

In the past one week the Covid cases have been zooming at a high rate and the test positivity rate in the state jumped to 35 per cent with a staggering over 28,000 new cases on Tuesday taking the total number of active cases across the state to 1,42,512 cases.

Clusters have appeared at educational institutions, State Secretariat, police stations and even at health centres, which have created a huge scare and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is away in the US for medical treatment.

But putting a brave face George said that everyone has to cooperate to see that this phase passes through safely.

“The situation is serious and the spread is really high and to tackle this phase all will have to work together keeping aside all other thoughts away. The need of the hour is to ensure that all adhere to the directions with utmost caution and follow the guidelines. Wearing of N95 masks is a must and there should be no violation of the basics,” said George.

George was asked about the ongoing CPI-M meetings and the way guidelines were violated by holding dance and musical programmes, she said, whosoever violated the rules is wrong and it should not have happened.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the Vijayan government and his party have scant respect to the needs of the people and they are continuing to go forward by holding their party meetings.

“Four legislators who took part in their meeting held here a few days back have turned positive and so have many others who took part in the meeting. They say they will go forward with holding the meetings (three more district party meetings are to be held). The government failed to act in advance and it has left many hospitals with no medicines and even the former State Health Minister is also not getting medicines. Things are in bad shape,” said Satheesan.

Congress veteran legislator Ramesh Chennithala said authorities are helpless seeing the Covid crisis worsening.

“The government has to act swiftly and we hear there is a meeting only on Thursday to discuss this spread. George has proved to be a miserable failure and where is Vijayan who was always seen on TV giving Covid directions in the past. People have been left to fend for themselves and are resigned to their fate. The CPI-M is primarily responsible for this. To hold their party meetings, everything was kept under wraps and very few tests were conducted,” Chennithala said.

But George said there is no shortage of medicines, all the facilities are there to handle the situation.

And to make things worse, calls have started to bring back K.K. Shailaja, the former Health Minister who handled the first and second wave but was surprisingly dropped when Vijayan assumed office in 2021 May.



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