The Eid-ul-Adha celebrations may turn out to be Covid-19 super-spreader events across the country, especially in Kerala, as the Communist-led state has yet again recorded almost 17,000 new Covid-19 cases taking the tally to a two-month high on the days lockdown was relaxed.
Since the onslaught of 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 raging infections in Kerala and 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.
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.
However, it seems the worst damage has already been done as Eid celebrations in the state has spiked the fresh Covid-19 infections in state.
Eid-ul-Adha relaxations turn out to be a super-spreader events in Kerala
Due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the state ahead of the Eid-ul-Adha, Kerala is now risking another wave of the pandemic as fresh infections have soared in the last week. As restrictions were removed ahead of the Eid celebrations, Kerala has recorded the highest number of fresh cases surpassing the two-month average.
On Tuesday, Kerala reported 16,848 fresh Covid-19 cases taking the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) to 12 per cent after remaining around the 10 per cent mark for several weeks as against the 2.27% TPR in the country. Kerala now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the fresh infections in the country. India reported 42,015 new cases, 36,977 recoveries in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.
Similarly, on Sunday, Kerala had reported 13,956 cases, and the next day, the state had reported 9,931 cases on the following day on Monday. The total tally of Covid-19 cases in the state now stands at 31,87,716, second highest in the country after Maharashtra.
The Muslim majority areas which celebrated Eid have accounted increased number of cases. Malappuram accounted for the most number of cases with 2752 cases, followed by Thrissur with 1929 cases. In addition, Ernakulam -1901, Kozhikode – 1689, Kollam – 1556, Palakkad – 1237, Kottayam – 1101 and Thiruvananthapuram -1055 have all recorded more than 1,000 cases.
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 1,26,396 active cases.
In the last three days alone, after easing restrictions, more than 200 people have lost their lives in Kerala due to the Chinese pandemic. On Tuesday, Kerala accounted for 104 deaths, taking the overall tally to 15,512 deaths in the state.
With cases continue to soar in Kerala, especially the delta-variant, the neighbouring states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu are also at a risk of an onslaught of another wave of the pandemic.