Covid Situation Getting Out Of Control In Kerala
By P. Sreekumaran
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There is no getting away from the grim reality. Covid positive cases in the State have, for the first time, crossed the 6000- mark. And the number is all set to scale new heights in the days to come.
Friday saw the biggest single day spike with as many as 6477 positive cases, the figure for Thursday being 6355. And health experts have sounded out a grim note of warning: be prepared to see the situation going from bad to worse.
What must cause utmost concern to the Government is the harsh reality that more and more health staff are getting infected. The figure used to range between 15 to 20 two to three weeks ago. But now the number of health staff falling ill has recorded a four-fold rise with the number for Friday touching 80.
This is a serious problem that the Government must address on a war footing. For, if the trend is not reversed, the whole healthcare infrastructure is in grave danger of collapsing. A situation too daunting even to contemplate. And that too in a State whose health infrastructure is one of the best, if not the best, in the country.
Equally worrying is the frightening increase in the number of cases resulting from contacts. How alarming the situation is can be gauged from the following facts. On Friday, for instance, out of the 6477 cases, more than 5,400 cases were due to contacts.
There is an attempt to explain the big spike in the number of fresh positive cases to the steady increase in the number of tests being conducted in the State. Friday, for example, witnessed over 56,000 tests being conducted. Hence, the surge in cases, point out the health experts.
But that is only half the story. A factor contributing to the rise in cases is the failure - rather refusal - of the people to adhere to the covid protocol. The shocking apathy on the part of the people to observe the protocol has to be seen to be believed.
A major portion of the blame in this regard has to be shared by the highly irresponsible attitude of the Opposition parties in the State. The parties, mainly the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance (NDA), would have the people believe that it is more important to oust the Pinarayi Vijayan Government than battling the dreaded corona virus!
It is shocking to see the way these parties try to defend the indefensible. We are conducting an agitation against the Government observing all the covid-related norms, aver the Opposition. But what is the ground reality? The norms are observed more in their breach than in their observance. The TV footages showing the aggressive manner in which the opposition parties hit the streets is self-explanatory. The footages speak for themselves. True, the agitators sport masks. But they are hopelessly out of place in their zeal to vent their spleen against this 'corrupt to the core' Government. As for social or physical distancing, the less said the better. If only they channelize half the energies they expend on the agitation, the covid situation would be much the better for that. But, then, ousting the Government has higher priority. If, in the process, the lives of their own members and activists are exposed to grave risks, so be it. That seems to be the attitude of these parties.
It is nobody's case that the opposition parties have no right to voice their protests or that the Government of the day makes no mistakes. But there are times when you have to restrain yourself, especially when the State is locked in a grim struggle to combat covid. At least stick to the protocol laid down by the Central Government itself. But no. Securing the resignation of a minister is more important than saving the lives of the people. The Opposition parties should realise one thing. The people of the State are watching their activities. And they are not fools. They are the most enlightened voters in the country.
The ideal strategy for them is to keep their powder dry. Two elections are close by. The first is the local bodies elections, and then the big encounter: the State Assembly polls in May next year. That is the time when they can go all out against the Government's 'acts of omission and commission'. Not when a pandemic is raging the State, the country and the world.
It is introspection time for the opposition parties. (IPA Service)