Kerala Defends Relaxation Of COVID Curbs For Bakrid Despite Increase In TPR; SC Hearing Today

National

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has defended the decision to relax Covid restrictions for three days, beginning Sunday, in view of the Bakrid festival. In an affidavit filed  in the Supreme Court, the state government has said that curbs put in place to deal with Covid-19 have put people in a lot of misery. 

Claiming that citizens are frustrated by the curbs, the Kerala government reportedly said, "Lockdown can’t be extended indefinitely as it is affecting traders. People are frustrated by the curbs. Experts have said that the state is unlikely to face a strong third wave due to fast and systemic vaccination." 

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The state government has further said that all precautions will be taken during the three day relaxation in curfew on the occasion of Bakrid. 

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded the Kerala government reverse its move to relax COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Bakrid or Eid Ul Adha. IMA called such a move "unwarranted and inappropriate" at a stage when the state is dealing with an emergency situation. 

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court directed the Kerala government to file its response to a petition against three-day relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions. The court is expected to take up the plea today. 

In light of the upcoming Bakrid (Eid-ul-Adha), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Saturday that textiles, footwear, jewelry, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all kinds of repair shops, and shops selling essential items will be allowed to open on July 18, 19, and 20 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in category A, B, and C areas. These establishments can only operate in D category regions starting July 19, he said. 

It is to be noted that Eid celebrations will be marked at the time when Kerala reported 9,931 new cases in the last 24 hours. According to latest health bulletin, the tested 89,654 samples on  Monday and noticed an increase in its test positivity rate (TPR) to 11.08% , its highest in the last 17 days. At 1,21,708, Kerala has the highest active caseload in the country.