The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has flayed the Kerala government for easing the lockdown restrictions 'on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakri-Eid,' terming it unwarranted and inappropriate at the time a health crisis. The IMA also urged the Kerala government to immediately withdraw the order.
In a statement issued by IMA National President Dr JA Jayalal and Honorary Secretary General Dr Jayesh Lele on Sunday, 18 July, it said, “When many northern states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety, the traditional and popular pilgrims, it's unfortunate that a learned state like Kerala has taken these retrograde decision," the statement read.
The IMA Kerala chapter had earlier criticised the government's lockdown strategy as 'unscientific' and 'ineffective'.
Kerala had been on complete lockdown from 8 May to 17 June. But the restrictions were removed in a phased manner after that. All shops, except those selling essential commodities, were still allowed to open on alternative days and also based on the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) figures of local bodies, complete lockdown on weekends continued in the state.
Traders have been urging the state government to let shops open on all days as they had suffered heavy losses. There was also a clash between the traders and police after the former demanded to open shops on all days.
The traders had a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 16 July, following which the state government announced that all shops could be opened on 18, 19 and 20 July owing to Bakri Eid.
On 17 July, the CM announced more lockdown relaxations, including allowing movie shoots in areas where the TPR is less.
"The IMA, in the larger interest of the country and the well being of humanity, with the sense of responsibility, strongly urge/demand the Kerala state government to immediately withdraw this order, enforce zero-tolerance against COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and not to deviate from its statutory duty and vision to ensure the safety of state and nation as a whole,” the statement read.
“IMA, a body of warriors in this COVID-19 war and with the sense of altruism, will be constrained to knock on the pedestal's of the Supreme Court if the state is not enforcing COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and become a model state to curtail the rising menace of COVID, by withdrawing this decision (sic)," the IMA statement further reads.
(This article was first published in The News Minute and republished here with permission.)