A surge in the Covid-19 cases in the state has been blamed on the CPI-M, the Congress and BJP said on Friday, but state Health Minister Veena George denied the charge.
In light of the high test positivity rate that surpassed 40% on Thursday, and the state recording its highest average daily increase of over 46,000 new cases, the two parties said that the marathon district party meetings of the CPI-M had become a "super-spreader."
According to the leader of the opposition, V.D. Satheesan, the CPI-M leadership decides everything based on its convenience since they now control the health department.
As Satheesan put it, "While it is the test positivity rate which determines the clamping of Covid protocols but unfortunately it has been discarded to hold the three-day district party meetings at Thrissur and Kasargod (which began on Friday). For that, they have come up with a new benchmark of a number of hospitalization due to Covid in hospitals. Kasargod has a TPR of 36, while in Thrissur it is 34."
He added that approximately 100 people have turned Covid positive as a result of the recent CPI-M meeting in Thiruvananthapuram district.
The Vijayan government recently called out the Congress for receiving Keralites at the Palakkad border when the state's borders were opened. Currently, the same leaders travel between district meetings in violation of all protocol, he added.
"On Thursday, we saw how the Kasargod district collector withdrew an order she brought out on Covid protocols in a few hours and it was done to ensure the Kasargod district CPI-M meeting could continue. There is one set of rules for the CPI-M and another set for all others," said the opposition leader.
This decision was made at the Covid review meeting held on Thursday, which made a fresh redrawing of guidelines and reassignment of districts based on hospitalizations due to Covid into three categories; A,B and C.
However, the Health Minister Veena George met with the media here today, rejecting all the allegations leveled by Congress leadership.
"Kerala is passing through the third wave and we adopted different strategies in the first and second wave and this time the experts decided to go on the hospitalisation of patients in hospitals as the yard stick. We only apply scientific methods of control and I will not reply to political criticism," she said, asking if the opposition wants a total lockdown and economic collapse.
Minister further said of the 1.99 lakh active Covid cases in the state only 3 per cent are at hospitals. Likewise just 0.7 per cent of the total beds with Oxygen support, 0.6 per cent of the ICU beds and 2 per cent of the ventilators at various Medical Colleges are being used by Covid patients now.
Moreover, the CPI-M state secretary who inaugurated the meeting of the Trissur district said the government sets up Covid protocols, not the party.
"Does it mean, that we want our people to turn Covid positive and does it mean that only CPI-M people are now turning positive. Wish to know which party meeting did film actor Mammootty attend for him to have turned Covid positive. Satheesan should simply not level allegations", said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
At the same time, about 180 leaders of CPI-M from Trissur and Kasargod are participating in party meetings.
V. Muraledharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, said the CPI-M defies all guidelines in Covid rules and is challenging the people of Kerala.
"They should ideally have postponed the remaining district party meetings , if they really have any concern for the health and safety of the people. It appears through their defiance they have taken the onus to become super spreaders of the virus. This is not acceptable at all," said Muraleedharan.
According to revised Covid guidelines released on Thursday, January 23 and 30, both Sundays, will be near lockdowns with only essential activities permitted.