The Eid-ul-Adha celebrations have turned out to be Covid-19 super-spreader events across the country, especially in Kerala, as the state has yet again recorded more than 22,000 new Covid-19 cases creating a wave of panic.
On Tuesday, Communist-ruled Kerala reported 22,129 cases, the highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases in two months with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 12.35%. It is the first time since May that Kerala has reported more than twenty thousand cases in a single day.
Kerala now accounts for nearly 53 per cent of the fresh infections in the country. India reported 42,917 new cases, 41,653 recoveries in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.
With Kerala reporting more than 15,000 cases every day on an average over the last two weeks, the total tally of Covid-19 cases in the state now stands at 33,87,716, the second-highest in the country after Maharashtra. More importantly, the state has now above 1.45 lakh active cases of the Covid-19, the highest in the country. Maharashtra has the second-highest active cases at around 82,000.
Kerala also recorded 156 deaths on Tuesday due to Covid-19, taking the related death toll in the state to 16,326.
The Muslim-majority in the areas, especially in North Kerala, has reported the maximum number of cases in the state. Malappuram district logged the most positive cases with 4,037 cases in a single day. It was followed by Thrissur (2,623), Kozhikode (2,397), Ernakulam (2,352), Palakkad (2,115), Kollam (1,914), Kottayam (1,136), Thiruvananthapuram (1,100), Kannur (1,072), Alappuzha (1,064), Kasaragod (813), Wayanad (583), Pathanamthitta (523) and Idukki (400).
One of the worrying factors about Covid-19 pandemic mismanagement in Kerala is the active cases in the state. As other states have almost brought the fresh infections to a halt, Kerala still has more than 1,45,367 active cases.
One of the major reasons for the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in Kerala is the easing of restrictions by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government for Eid-ul-Adha celebrations, a decision endorsed by the Supreme Court of India.
Despite raging infections in Kerala and the state government’s inability to manage the pandemic, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government had given in to the pressure of the Muslim community in the society and had lifted lockdown restrictions for three days to celebrate Bakrid or Eid-ul-Adha from July 18 to July 21. The Kerala government had announced relaxations for the Bakrid festival in a press conference organised on July 17.
Eid ul-Adha turns out to be super-spreader events:
Since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country last year, Kerala has remained one of the two biggest epicentres of Covid-19 infections in the country, along with Maharashtra. In fact, Kerala remains the worst Covid-19 affected state in the country and continues to be a burden to the country’s efforts in tackling the second wave of the pandemic even as other states have successfully reduced fresh Covid-19 cases.
Despite failing to tackle the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kerala government had opened up the state for Muslims to celebrate the Eid ul-Adha festival, risking the lives of citizens in the state. Due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, Kerala is now risking another wave of the pandemic as fresh infections have soared since the last two weeks, hitting a peak on Tuesday.
As restrictions were removed ahead of the Eid celebrations, Kerala has recorded the highest number of fresh cases surpassing the two-month average. The Eid events in Kerala have now become the epicentre of Covid-19 infections not just in Kerala but also in its neighbouring states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court, which had ruled against conducting Hindu religious events such as Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh – one of the successful states to have handled the Covid-19 pandemic, did not direct similar actions to the Kerala government.
The Supreme Court had not passed any strict orders banning the celebrations in Kerala even as the state recorded the highest number of cases. However, two days later, after the completion of celebrations in Kerala, the Supreme Court had rapped the Kerala government for allowing a three-day relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions on the occasion of the Bakrid. This came on the third day of three-day relaxation.
With a sudden spike in cases in Kerala, it seems the worst damage has already been done as Bakrid celebrations in the state have resulted in increasing fresh Covid-19 infections in the state.