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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Six-member Central team to visit Kerala today amid rise in Covid cases

BJP blames relaxations; CPM cites serosurvey, says give vaccines not free advice

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: July 30, 2021 7:34:47 am
V Muraleedharan, Thomas Isaac

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Kerala, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to depute a six-member high-level multi-disciplinary team to the state to “collaborate” with the state’s health authorities for management of the outbreak.

Kerala reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third day in a row — it logged 22,064 new cases and 128 deaths on Thursday — taking the caseload to 33,49,365 and the toll to 16,585.

Meanwhile, the BJP and the state’s ruling CPI(M) traded barbs over the situation, with the former blaming “politics of appeasement” for the rise in cases in Kerala and criticising the state government for relaxing curbs for Eid-ul-Adha.

“The Kerala government has tried to utilise this pandemic for political benefits and that’s the whole purpose of these relaxations. In fact, there was fake propaganda right from the beginning of the pandemic when the state government claimed that they have contained the Covid-19 due to their effective management,” Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told Republic TV.

“How some irresponsible politicians puts country at risk of COVID19 3rd wave, even as Narendra Modi govt has worked so hard to defeat Covid19SecondWave,” Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted on Thursday.

Hitting back at the BJP, senior CPI(M) leader and former Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac urged the Centre to provide more vaccines to Kerala than “free advice”. He said Kerala has the lowest seroprevalence of 44 per cent, and MP the highest at 79 per cent. “It implies that Kerala has managed Covid better. Its multiple of seroprevalence to reported case load is also lowest. Therefore present spike in case load is due to failure of Centre in providing sufficient vaccine,” he said.

The “Central team to Kerala is headed by Dr S K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” the ministry said in a statement. It will reach the state on Friday and visit a few districts, it said. “The team shall work closely with the State Health Departments, take a stock of on ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions to contain the large number of cases being reported by the state.”

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted, “Central Government is sending 6 member team to Kerala headed by NCDC Director. As large number of COVID cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid state’s ongoing efforts in #COVID19 management.”

“Kerala with an active case load of 1.54 lakh is contributing 37.1 per cent of the total active cases in the country, with a growth rate of 1.41 in the last seven days. Average daily cases being reported in the state are above 17,443,” the ministry said.

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