The recent surge in the number of cases is suggestive of the fact that Kerala’s success in the battle against Covid-19 is now unraveling.
Big change in ‘Kerala Model’ strategy of fighting COVID-19! Steering away from the coronavirus strategy that worked until now, the Kerala government has raised the responsibility of state police instead of health agencies in handling the coronavirus pandemic in the state, as per IE report. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recognised the instances of people violating quarantine and social distancing norms and hence he said that police have to take the onus of ensuring proper social distancing norms across the state. The government has mandated that all the primary and as well as secondary contacts of COVID-19 infected persons have to be traced by the local police department within a span of 24 hours. CM Vijayan ruled that a local police inspector will lead a team for contact tracing which, until now, was done by health inspectors across the state.
CM Vijayan also asked police officials to show more vigilance in areas marked as containment zones and ensure people comply with the home quarantine norms laid out by the health ministry. CM Vijayan also said that police would help district collectors and the disaster management authority in order to identify and demarcate containment zones. Police have also been asked to enforce adequate social distancing measures at public functions, markets, funerals, and weddings.
On higher administration level, CM Vijayan ordered District police chiefs to work as incident commanders in the respective districts and hold daily review meetings with district collectors and district medical officers which was a task of sub-divisional magistrates under revenue department under collector until now. Additionally, the CM said that the I-G Police Vijay Sakhare would function as nodal officer and direct all district officials in framing better covid-19 containment strategies.
Kerala, which had won considerable appreciation for being on the right track of dealing with the pandemic, has now changed its strategy with the rising number of cases across the state. The recent surge in the number of cases is suggestive of the fact that Kerala’s success in the battle against Covid-19 is now unraveling. There are definite signs of community transmission in the state with the identification of 174 clusters of coronavirus in the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been highlighting that the people’s attitude by showing complacency and lapses behind the rise of coronavirus cases in the period of the last 10 days. CM Vijayan said that the state has 174 Covid-19 clusters, of which the status quo is maintained in 51 clusters while the rate of infection is higher in 34 others.