India's top doctors' body, the Indian Medical Association or IMA, on Sunday warned the Kerala government against easing Coronavirus restrictions ahead of Eid al-Adha or Bakrid because of the "inevitable, impending third wave".
The IMA said that if the order is not withdrawn, with the sense of altruism, they will be forced to approach the Supreme Court against the Kerala government order.
The IMA said that it was "pained" by the decision of the Kerala government which comes amidst the rising cases in the state and even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned against mass gatherings and many states have cancelled pilgrimage yatras.
"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 unfortunate that learned state of Kerala had taken these retrograde decisions," it said in a statement.
The Kerala government had declared that lockdown restrictions in the state would be relaxed for three days starting Sunday given Bakrid being celebrated on Wednesday in the state.
Shops selling clothes, footwear, jewellery, gift items, home appliances and electronics and repair outlets will be allowed to open.
The issue has also sparked a fierce debate online and drawn comparisons to the cancellation of the Kanwar Yatra by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Deplorable act by Kerala Govt to provide 3 days relaxations for Bakra eid celebrations especially because it's one of the hot beds for Covid-19 at present. If Kanwar Yatra is wrong, so is Bakra Eid public celebrations.— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) July 17, 2021
This is such an uninformed, misleading tweet. Unlike Kanwar Yatra, families in Kerala will be celebrating Eid in their own homes. It's just that the shops will be allowed to function for three days. https://t.co/TNn625MdU7— Korah Abraham (@thekorahabraham) July 18, 2021
Besides concessions for Bakrid, certain activities like film shooting and relaxations for places of worship were announced on Saturday by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who added that restrictions were also needed to overcome the serious situation that Kerala was facing.
The Chief Minister said that the restrictions, including lockdowns, no matter how limited, were causing huge economic and social problems and therefore certain concessions were being allowed after evaluating the course of the COVID-19 infection daily.
Kerala reported 16,148 new COVID-19 cases and 114 deaths on Saturday, with a test positivity rate of 10.76 per cent. As cases have subsided in the rest of the country following the deadly second wave, the state has emerged as a region of concern along with the northeast, the central government has said.