This will be the second term for the Pinarayi Vijayan government which retained power breaking the trend of alternative LDF and UDF governments in Kerala.
The Pinarayi Vijayan government’s decision to hold a swearing-in ceremony in presence of 500 people amid the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 has drawn flak from across quarters. The move is also being widely criticised on social media platforms. This will be the second term for the Pinarayi Vijayan government which retained power breaking the trend of alternative LDF and UDF governments in Kerala. The CPI-M led Left Democratic Front had won 99 seats in the 140-member assembly in the polls held on April 6. It has been decided that the swearing-in ceremony will be held with 500 people on May 20. The Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association had earlier urged the government to organise the swearing-in ceremony virtually.
Notably, Kerala is under lockdown till May 23 in wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Reports suggested that the health minister in the previous Pinarayi government KK Shailaja, who was praised for her handling of the pandemic, will not be a part of the new cabinet.
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An order issued by the Chief Secretary regarding the oath-taking ceremony stated that the event will take place in the central stadium which has a seating capacity of 1000. However, due to the COVID-19 protocols, the number of participants has been confined to 500.
The order said that entry to the venue will be strictly through an entry pass and the entry/exit will be regulated by maintaining social distancing. The order said that the seating arrangements including at the dais will be made as per COVID-19 protocol. Entry will be allowed to only those persons having RT-PCR/TRUNAT/RT-LAMP negative results obtained within 48 hours or on the production of a final certificate of COVID vaccination. The order also stated that a testing facility for COVID-19 shall also be arranged near the venue.
The order dated May 14 also asked the participants to wear a double mask and not remove them during the entire duration of the event. It added that no refreshments/drinking water will be served inside the venue. The invitees will be permitted to travel to attend the function with the authorisation of the invitation card and car pass issued from GAD.