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Kerala govt allows bodies of Covid victims to be taken home for last rites

While the second wave has subsided in other parts of the country, Kerala continues to add five-digit cases daily.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: June 30, 2021 7:17:56 am
The test positivity rate of the state has been hovering at 10 per cent for the last week as against the country's weekly figure of 2.74 per dent. Of the 5.52 lakh active cases in the country, Kerala accounts for 1 lakh.

Even as Kerala’s pandemic situation remains grim, the state on Tuesday allowed ferrying of the bodies of Covid-19 patients to their homes to enable relatives to conduct the last rites. Thus far, the pandemic protocol had not allowed the bodies of Covid victims to be laid at their homes for this.

While the second wave has subsided in other parts of the country, Kerala continues to add five-digit cases daily. The test positivity rate of the state has been hovering at 10 per cent for the last week as against the country’s weekly figure of 2.74 per dent. Of the 5.52 lakh active cases in the country, Kerala accounts for 1 lakh.

After a review meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that one of the biggest issues during the pandemic was that relatives could not see the bodies of their loved ones (who died due to Covid). “The government wants that the bodies of Covid-19 victims should be laid for homage at their homes for a specific time and for conducting rituals as per their faith. An hour would be allowed for this,” he said.

Pointing out that the state’s Covid-19 situation remains a concern, the CM said the average TPR is still above 10 per cent. “We could gradually bring down the TPR from 29.75 per cent to 10 per cent. But there is no further decline on expected lines. It is a concern that the TPR is not going below 10 per cent. Last week’s figures show there is no fall in the number of active cases,” he said.

He said that the highly infectious Delta variant is causing the fast spread of the infection in the state. Although the second wave had engulfed the state much faster than the first wave, the second wave was arrested in such a manner that the health infrastructure could manage the caseload, he said.

Vijayan said the state had adopted the strategy of delaying the peak (of infection). “What had happened in places where that could not be adopted? We have seen people queuing up at crematoriums with bodies. What we have tried in Kerala is to avoid such the situation.”

He said it would take some more time for the decline of the second wave in Kerala. “There is no ground for further relaxing restrictions. Testing facilities at inter-state check posts and railway stations would be strengthened as the third wave is anticipated,” he said.

On Tuesday, Kerala reported 13,500 cases and confirmed 104 deaths.

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