Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led opposition in Kerala on Monday demanded from the Pinarayi Vijayan government to ensure tightening of Covid protocols as the lockdown norms have been eased when the total number of cases has started to rise.
In the past three days, the total number of positive coronavirus cases has crossed more than 100 and currently there are 1,095 positive cases in the state.
"We have been always lending full support to the Vijayan government to tackle the pandemic. But, despite tall claims and rhetoric, when it came to the basics, the Vijayan government has faltered on testing, setting up quarantine centres and putting up ventilator facilities," said Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
He said if one looks into the number of testing that has taken place in Kerala compared to other states, while states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu have done over 5 lakh tests, UP and Karnataka have conducted over 3 lakh tests, Kerala has done just 1.1 lakh tests so far, below states like Odisha and Punjab.
"When it came to setting up quarantine centres, Vijayan had said the government has set up 2.5 lakhs beds, but was exposed when around 40,000 of our diaspora came from abroad. The Vijayan government has time and again changed the quarantine norms for the diaspora, and the latest rule is all foreign returnees are to remain in home isolation. The need of the hour is to ensure setting up institutional quarantine centres as claimed by Vijayan," added Chennithala.
Likewise according to reports in Kerala, there are only 1,800 ventilators and this is hardly enough and for that the private health sector should also be roped in for Covid treatment.
The present rules in the state are a 14-day home quarantine for all those who return from abroad or from within the country.
Health Minister K.K. Shailaja however defended the way things are being managed by the government.
"Today the accuracy of the antibody testing is debatable as even if it turns negative, those undergoing should complete the prescribed quarantine period. Home quarantine has been proved to be a success and this would be for all those who have an attached bathroom facility at their homes, if not, such people will have to go into institutional quarantine," said Shailaja.