Unwarranted and inappropriate: IMA on Kerala Bakrid relaxations

India logs 41,157 new infections in 24 hours; of these 13,956 cases have come from Kerala.

With Covid-19 cases again soaring in several states, amidst apprehensions over the possible third wave, while the Delhi government on Sunday cancelled the organisation of the annual Kanwar Yatra in the national capital, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) slammed the Kerala government over lockdown relaxations due to Bakrid.

“IMA is pained to see amidst the rise of cases and Seropositivity, the Kerala government has issued an order to ease out lockdown followed in the state on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakrid. It is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of medical emergency. When many northern states like J&K, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety, the traditional and popular pilgrimage yatras, it is unfortunate that the learned state of Kerala had taken this decision which will pave wave for mass gatherings,” the top medical body stated.

Kerala is witnessing a sharp surge in new infection cases as half of the country’s fresh cases are being reported from two states—Kerala and Maharashtra. On Sunday, Kerala reported 13,956 new Covid cases, while 81 deaths were reported due to coronavirus. India on Sunday reported 41,157 new cases and 518 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As per the data shared by the Union Health Ministry, India’s active caseload now stands at 4,22,660 and active cases now constitute 1.36% of the country›s total positive cases. Just a day before, India reported around 38,078 cases and past week data shows how the rate of decline in fresh cases has slowed down. 

“Weekly Positivity Rate is currently at 2.08% while the Daily Positivity rate stands at 2.13%. Daily Positivity rate has remained less than 3% for 27 consecutive days, and has remained below 5% for 41 consecutive days now,” the data read. 

Taking cue from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority cancelled the organisation of the annual Kanwar Yatra as various stakeholders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Health had been advising against mass public gatherings. 

From strengthening healthcare infrastructure to mass media campaigns to raise awareness on Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination, civic bodies in Delhi are making preparations in anticipation of the third wave of the pandemic. Officials of all three municipal corporations said that the first and second waves had stretched the system to its limits, from hospitals to crematoriums, and so efforts are being made to ensure the scenario does not repeat. 

Meanwhile, in a landmark achievement, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage crossed the 40 crore milestone. However, daily vaccination numbers remained below expectations. As per the provisional report till 7 am Sunday, 51,01,567 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. The medical experts have been saying that India needs to accelerate the pace of vaccination drive and must take it to 90 lakh to 1 crore if the government wants to inoculate its eligible population this year.