Covid-19 surge fear in festive season: Learn from Kerala’s lessons during Onam, says Union Health Minister

By: |
October 19, 2020 11:24 AM

Religious congregations are leading some surge in COVID-10 cases as some cases of community transmissions have surfaced.

Union health minister emphasized that community transmission can occur if the area is densely populated.

Coronavirus cases in India have been growing for months now and now the people have resumed their everyday activities with utmost precautions amid the outbreak. One such thing among it is celebrating festivities in various parts of the country. However, religious congregations are leading some surge in COVID-10 cases as some cases of community transmissions have surfaced. In Kerala, after the Onam festivities were over, the state witnessed an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Taking this as an example, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has urged all others in the country to avoid large gatherings during the festive season. In a response to people on ‘Sunday Samvaad,’ Vardhan said that the state which was considered as a role model for fighting the novel Coronavirus has paid the price due to some negligence during the Onam week.

In his weekly interaction, the Union health minister emphasized that community transmission can occur if the area is densely populated. However, it is limited to certain areas, he added. According to him, the Onam festival celebrated between August 22 and September 2 and during this week, huge congregations took place across Kerala. People gathered in large numbers and there was a lack of adequate precautions. As a result, the state started witnessing around 7,000-8,000 new cases on a daily basis. The average in the first week of September was 2,000 daily cases, said Vardhan.

On this note, the minister has asked other states to make sure that people are not gathered in a large number during festivals. He asked the other states to learn a lesson from this and be extra careful if there are festival celebrations.

Meanwhile, a report by The IE citing Kerala Minister Shailaja said that the Vardhan’s remarks have not criticised the state but has alerted other states to take all needed measures. As per Shailaja, the gatherings during Onam, marriages as well as protests in the state “have created complacency” leading to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. As there were some relaxations, people did not follow rules, the report added. However, Shailaja said that with opening up of trains and flights by the central government, post August, the state has recorded more than 9 lakh people who have come to Kerala from other states and countries.

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