Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has expressed concern over large crowds at the upcoming Thrissur Pooram as the state is facing a second wave of Covid-19. “It is dangerous to have crowds during Thrissur Pooram. The Devaswom board should decide on the Thirussur Pooram through talks. They should consider whether they can hold the Pooram like how the Attukal Pongala was conducted,” Shailaja told a leading Malayalam news channel.
While the state government is likely to conduct the Thrissur Pooram, several health officers, including the district medical officer (DMO), are against the idea, saying it could lead to grave danger. DMO KJ Reena has asked the state government to reconsider its decision of conducting the Pooram. However, Minister VS Sunilkumar informed that the festival would be conducted following Covid-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, several states have written to the Centre that there is a shortage of vaccine doses despite the Union Health Minister saying that none of the states is facing any such shortage. However, the Kerala Health Minister said that vaccine shortage is a serious problem. Shailaja informed that the state is also facing a vaccine shortage as some areas have vaccine stocks for just two days.
Shailaja said that the state has no objections against the Centre’s plan to export vaccines. “We are not saying that the vaccine is not available at all. We need to ensure availability of vaccines for everyone here before sending it abroad,” she said, adding that the Kerala government have written to the Centre for more vaccines.
Kerala reported 6,986 new Covid-19 cases, 2,358 recoveries and 16 deaths. The state recorded a Test Positivity Rate of 10.75% as 65,003 samples were collected. Shailaja said the recent Kerala Assembly elections is a contributing factor to Kerala’s second Covid-19 wave. However, the health minister pointed out that mutation of the virus is not prevalent in the state. She also hinted the central government may issue new guidelines if the situation worsens.
However, the situation is worsening as India reported 1,68,912 new Covid-19 cases, a new single-day record. With the second wave, the national recovery rate has fallen below 90%. The country also reported 904 deaths and 75,096 recoveries. India has administrated a total of 10,45,28,565 doses till today.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 has hit the Supreme Court as 50% of staff are testing positive for the virus. Due to this, SC judges will continue hearing cases through video conference from their homes. The entire court premises, including courtrooms, are being sanitised.