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Early discharge after Covid-19 lands Kerala CM in middle of a controversy

As per the guidelines, an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient should be tested ten days after the patient was first tested positive.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: April 15, 2021 9:19:26 pm
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the states have Constitutional obligation in the health sector (Photo: AP)

The opposition has mounted an attack on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging that he has violated Covid-19 protocol. Vijayan, who had tested positive on April 8, was discharged six days later on Wednesday in contrast to the guidelines.

As per the guidelines, an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient should be tested ten days after the patient was first tested positive. If tested negative on 10th day, the patient can be discharged with advice for home quarantine for seven days after discharge.

Authorities at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, where Vijayan was admitted after he was tested positive, said he had symptoms as early as April 4 and hence the test was repeated on April 14. However, the justification of the hospital authorities added more trouble as Vijayan had actively campaigned on April 4, the last day of the campaigning for the Assembly elections. At his constituency Dharmadam, Vijayan had led a roadshow along with film celebrities.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Vijayan had cast vote on April 6 violating protocol. “If he had symptoms on April 4, his conduct of the roadshow was violation of the Covid-19 protocols. He also violated the discharge protocol. Is the protocol binding for only the common man,” he said.

UDF leader Shibu Baby John asked how Vijayan could justify the violation of protocol. “His approach was irresponsible and amounted to fence eating crops. In the last one year, Vijayan had blamed several expatriates and political leaders for their irresponsible behaviour. He had kept away expatriates saying they are merchants of death,’’ said RSP leader Shibu.

Health Minister K K Shailaja said the controversy was unnecessary. “The CM was tested positive on April 8 and hence there was nothing wrong in him taking part in the roadshow on April 4. When symptoms appeared, he had gone into quarantine. Even after being discharged from hospital, the Chief Minister is under home quarantine,’’ she said.

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