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'Retrograde': IMA Denounces Kerala's Decision To Ease Lockdown Restrictions for Eid

The Indian Medical Association expressed concerns over Kerala's decision to ease lockdown restrictions in view of Bakr I Eid. (Representational image)

The Indian Medical Association expressed concerns over Kerala's decision to ease lockdown restrictions in view of Bakr I Eid. (Representational image)

The Indian Medical Association said it was "pained" to see easing of lockdown restrictions in the pretext of religious gathering.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has warned the Kerala government against easing restrictions ahead of Bakr I Eid even as there is no respite to the spread of the coronavirus in the state. As per a statement released on Sunday, the association of medical doctors termed the decisions of the ‘learned state of Kerala as retrograde’ as ‘a third wave of the pandemic is inevitable if appropriate steps are not taken’.

“IMA is pained to see amidst the raise of cases and seropositivity, the Kerala Government has issued an order to ease out lockdown followed in the state on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakr I Eid. It is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of medical emergency. 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 the learned state of Kerala had taken these retrograde decisions," IMA said in a statement signed by its president Dr J A Jayalal, and General Secretary, Dr Jayesh Lele.

“With the sustained progression of vaccination, avoiding mass gatherings in any form is the responsible duty expected at this crucial time from every citizen of our country. After the proactive visionary call of the Honorable prime minister to stop revenge tourism and not to invite the third wave by mass gatherings many proposed religious and pilgrimage Yatras were cancelled,” it said.

“With the dedicated and committed services of the government and the modern medical fraternity, today we are in the declining phase of the second wave throughout the country, except in few states like Kerala and Maharashtra where we are still having the high number of cases,” IMA pointed out.

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It also said that the Supreme Court of India has taken suo moto cognisance of the issue and directed everyone to play a vigilant role to mitigate the impending third wave.

Incidentally, the Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had condemned the state’s lockdown restrictions in a strongly worded letter, calling them ‘unscientific’ and ‘ineffective’. In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, four days ago, the IMA said that the current lockdown restrictions encouraged people to crowd near shops and establishments.

When shops are only open for only a few days a week, the public will visit the shop more and the time restrictions did not make sense as the longer a business is open, the more chance it gives for crowds to be spread out, said the IMA Kerala chapter in the letter.

The IMA advised that although home isolation of Covid19 patients was an effective strategy in the initial days, it has now proved to be ineffective in Kerala in 2021.

IMA also thanked “the government of India and the Prime minister for taking all appropriate steps to face the inevitable impending third wave and mitigate its impacts in the form of infrastructure augmentation, quantitative and qualitative preparedness of medical manpower, and building awareness of the following COVID appropriate behaviours”.

“With the sustained progression of vaccination, avoiding mass gatherings in any form is the responsible duty expected at this crucial time from every citizen of our country,” it said.

As of July 18, 2021, Kerala and Maharashtra contribute to over 60% of total new coronavirus cases in the country.

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first published:July 18, 2021, 16:43 IST