Supreme Court issues notice to Kerala government over relaxation in Covid-19 curbs for Bakrid; hearing tomorrow

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July 19, 2021 2:21 PM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently announced relaxation in COVID-19 curbs given Bakrid celebrations which created an uproar on social media.

Pinarayi Vijayan led Kerala government has announced relaxations in COVID-19 curbs on account of Bakrid.

The Supreme Court of India has sought a response from the Kerala government on a plea against its decision of easing restrictions ahead of Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid) at a time when the state is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The court has listed the matter for hearing tomorrow. The apex court has clubbed the matter with its suo motu case related to the Kanwar Yatra.

The plea was filed by a Delhi resident PKD Nambiar who submitted that despite Kerala showing an alarming rise in COVID cases, it has decided to give relaxation in curbs on account of Bakrid. He termed the Kerala government’s move as shocking and said that in a medical emergency, the government is playing with the lives of citizens through such measures.

Notably, while most of the states are witnessing a decline in the new COVID-19 cases, Kerala has been witnessing an increase in the number of cases. On Saturday, Kerala reported over 16 thousand new cases while it reported over 13 thousand cases yesterday.

The Indian Medical Association has already written to the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government, urging the state to roll back its decision. In a release issued yesterday, IMA president JA Jayalal said that the Kerala government’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions on the occasion of Eid-Al-Adha is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of medical emergency.

The IMA had also warned of knocking on the SC’s doors if the Kerala government does not enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour to curtail the rising number of cases.

“The IMA is pained to see amidst the rise of cases and seropositivity, the Kerala government has issued an order to ease out lockdown followed in the state on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakrid. It is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of medical emergency,” said the IMA in its release.

It’s notable that while Uttarakhand has already banned Kanwar Yatra, the Uttar Pradesh government also agreed to stop the yatra after the Supreme Court rapped the government over its decision to go ahead with the pilgrimage.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently announced relaxation in COVID-19 curbs given Bakrid celebrations which created an uproar on social media. Vijayan had said that in view of Bakrid on July 21, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas. In D category areas, these shops can function only on July 19. Areas with a Test Positivity Rate of less than five per cent are included in category A, those with five to 10 per cent are included in category B, areas with 10 to 15 per cent in category C and those above 15 per cent will be in category D, reported PTI.

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