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IMA writes to Kerala govt; urges against gatherings on Eid

Kochi: The Indian medical association (IMA) on Sunday wrote to the Kerala government, requesting them to avoid public gatherings ahead of Eid celebrations and not put their guards down in the fight against COVID-19.

The press release by the association read, “With the dedicated and committed services of the government and the Modern medical fraternity, today we are in the declining phase of the second wave throughout the country, except in few states like Kerala, and Maharashtra where we are still having the high number of cases.”

‘IMA is pained to see amidst the raise 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 Bakri Id. It is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of Medical emergency. When many Northern states like J&K, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety the traditional and popular pilgrimage Yatras, it is an unfortunate learned state of Kerala had taken these retrograde decisions.” it further read.

On Thursday, the Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned the state’s lockdown restrictions in a strongly worded letter, calling them “unscientific” and “ineffective”. The letter, addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, comes at a time when Kerala has been seeing a huge surge in COVID-19 cases. The IMA said that the current lockdown restrictions actually encouraged people to crowd near shops and establishments.

The IMA argued that when shops are only open for only a few days in a week, the public will visit the shop more. The IMA’s letter added that even the time restrictions did not make sense as the longer a business is open, the more chance it gives for crowds to be spread out.

The IMA also urged the Kerala government to change the protocols for testing for COVID-19 cases. Contact testing and tracing is the need of the hour, the letter added. While in the initial days, home isolation of COVID-19 patients was an effective strategy, it has now proved to be ineffective in Kerala in 2021, the IMA said.

Speaking about the vaccination programme, the letter condemned the state government’s decision to not rope in private players to vaccinate the population. The IMA added that 70% of the population depended on private hospitals in the state. “Private players were ready to distribute the government vaccines free of charge and by even foregoing the service charge. However the government said no to this,” the letter read.

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