Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Thursday slammed the Kerala government for failing to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases and said that the formula followed by it to tackle the coronavirus disease had failed.
The minister of state for External Affairs alleged that the Kerala government has been using the pandemic for political gain.
"The number of cases (in Kerala) has increased to such an extent that now it is more than half of the total tally of the country. The government did not follow scientific principles in the management of COVID.
"It's a global pandemic, WHO and ICMR have issued guidelines. But the Kerala government has taken the stand that they follow their own principles and their own formula. Now it has come to light that their formula has failed. Government should follow scientific principles and formulas. Kerala Government has been using this pandemic for political gains" the minister said.
The Union minister criticised the state government for easing restrictions for Eid. "The relaxation that has been given is not on the basis of cases increasing or decreasing, it's on political and vote bank considerations," Mr Muraleedharan said.
The minister said that there was no "scientific basis" for the complete weekend lockdown announced by the state.
"Lockdown is not on basis of any scientific basis. Every Saturday-Sunday is a lockdown. As a result, people rush to markets on Fridays and it causes a spike. Govt should follow scientific principles, observe guidelines of ICMR and also not use COVID for political gains," the union minister said.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 vaccination drive is underway in Thiruvananthapuram amid a sharp spike in cases.
"We are worried about a sharp spike in cases. In this situation, a vaccination drive once a day a week will not work. It has to be done in a proper manner," a local said.
The Centre on Thursday said it is sending a six-member team from the National Centre for Disease Control to Kerala, which today Thursday reported 22,064 new Covid-19 cases. The state reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day and now accounts for over 50 per cent of all new infections in the country.
It reported 128 fatalities taking the death count mounted to 16,585. A total of 16,649 recoveries were also reported in the state.
Malappuram recorded 3679 cases, Thrissur (2752), Kozhikode (2619), Ernakulam (2359), Palakkad (2034), Kollam (1517), Kannur (1275), Thiruvananthapuram (1222), Kottayam (1000), Alappuzha (991), Kasaragod (929), Wayanad (693), Pathanamthitta (568) and Idukki (426).
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday, India reported 43,509 fresh COVID-19 infections and 38,465 recoveries in the last 24 hours.