Former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy slams LDF government for failing to control Covid-19 spread

The government's justification is that Kerala has a higher population density and more elderly and diabetic people and the state is using the local body election to justify the cases in the state
Oommen Chandy
Oommen Chandy

One year after the onset of the Covid pandemic, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that although other states have managed to control Covid-19, Kerala has miserably failed.

He said a committee should be immediately constituted consisting of relevant experts to study the reason behind Covid-19 cases in Kerala.

“Whatever the criteria are, Kerala’s failure is obvious. Almost half of the daily cases in the country are here. The state ranks third in total cases and first in the number of patients currently under treatment,” Chandy said. “The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is also quite high. Kerala stands 12th in the country with 3,722 deaths. Reportedly, unofficial estimates suggest that the death toll in the state is higher than projected. Renowned epidemiologist Dr Raman Kutty told a leading English daily that the state government’s Covid data was unreliable,” he added.

Chandy pointed out the main setback for Kerala is the lack of Covid tests. On Saturday, the state conducted only 59,759 Covid-19 tests while health experts and organisations opine that at least one lakh test needs to be conducted daily. Chandy alleges that the government fears that more Covid-19 tests will result in more cases. “Laboratory systems for testing have not been expanded in over a year. Neglecting a large section of government experts and the private sector has weakened our fight against Covid-19. The private sector should be more co-operative and more tests and testing centres should be set up. Covid data should be left to researchers,” Chandy said.

The government's justification is that Kerala has a higher population density and more elderly and diabetic people. Besides, the government is also using the local body election to justify the cases in the state. “Covid was controlled in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, which are more densely populated than Kerala. Even when it comes to diabetics, there are states ahead of Kerala,” Chandy said, adding that Covid was under control in other states where local body elections were held and in places where mass protests were taking place.

A few days ago, the Central government released data in which Kerala has the largest number of Covid-19 cases spread in the country. The number of Covid-19 cases in eight districts of the state including Kannur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram, is increasing alarmingly. Besides, while the state has the highest number of Covid-19 cases being reported daily and the highest number of patients being treated, Kerala, however, lags behind the rest when it comes to the testing of samples.

In seven days, the number of patients has increased by 15%. In a week, Kannur recorded an increase of 40%, while Wayanad, which had the lowest number of patients, marked an increase of 34%. In Thiruvananthapuram, it is 33% followed by Kollam district with 31%, and Kottayam district with 25%.

Also, the test positivity rate rose sharply in districts like Kannur, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kasargod, Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur. While the national average is below 2%, the state has its above 10% for more than a month and a half. There has also been an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospitals and Covid treatment centres. If the spike continues at the same rate, there will be a crisis. The only relief is that Kerala was able to control the death rate of Covid-19 patients.

The NationWide