Thiruvananthapuram: Six months after the first coronavirus case was detected in the country at Thrissur on January 30, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, here on Thursday, his government had done its best to fight Covid-19 and bring relief to the people.
But the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) termed the handling a big failure.
Speaking to the media, Vijayan said the state government had contained coronavirus effectively. "When on March 24 the nationwide lockdown was declared, Kerala had 105 cases. But with start of the unlock process and return of people from abroad and other states, the cases started to rise. On Wednesday, we had had 21,298 cases," said Vijayan.
Pointing to 4.19 lakh returnees from other states and 2.62 lakh from abroad, the Chief Minister said foreign returnees accounted for 9,099 cases and domestic travellers 12,199 infections. "If one compares these with other places, we have done extremely well. And that's because of our correct strategy," Vijayan said.
He said asymptomatic people and those with mild symptoms could stay at home under the experts' guidance, and it would also be applicable to health professionals.
However, the UDF termed Vijayan's claims a tall one. "The state government has limited its role to acting against violators of Covid-19 protocols. The pandemic is being treated as a law and order issue instead of a health hazard.
"The UDF cooperated with the Vijayan government in the fight against Covid-19. But their much-touted Plans A, B and C have all turned a cropper. The failure has come at a time when Kerala boasts of the best healthcare, matured over years due to efforts of the successive governments," said Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala after a meeting of the UDF.
He said fewer tests were being conducted and Kerala stood 11th in the country in terms of daily testing.
"Test results are delayed as much as a week. The data being given out is manipulated. Experts have agreed on these aspects. Moreover, the government first said everyone would be treated at hospitals, then they said Covid First Line Treatment Centres would be opened and now they are saying Covid positive patients can stay at home.
"All these changes prove that the much-talked about Kerala model has gone out of the window," said Chennithala. The government had left it to the people to protect themselves from Covid-19, he added.