Has the Kerala model failed? The answer is a vehement yes, with no ifs or buts whatsoever. Kerala has been reporting more than half of the country’s total Covid-19 cases for the past few days, kicking up a heated exchange between the state’s ruling CPI(M) and other stakeholders. While health experts and policymakers in the state, including former finance minister Thomas Isaac cited Kerala’s low sero-prevalence of 44.4%, to mask the failures arising from spike in daily cases, Isaac and the Leftist lobby cannot mask the hard truth. And the hard truth — Kerala, with a population of less than 3.5 crore, not only accounts for over 51% of India’s fresh cases but has a positivity rate of over 13.52% compared to the national average of just 2.4%. Again, compared to India’s active caseload of merely 1.2%, Kerala’s active caseload is abnormally high at 1.50 lakh cases, with Kerala now accounting for 38% of the country’s overall active cases.
In the last three days, Kerala alone reported 66,000 new cases with bulk of those cases coming from Muslim-dominated areas such as Malappuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad. Needless to say, there is a clear and direct correlation between the Bakrid (Eid al-Adha) celebrations, which were held by flouting social distancing norms with impunity that added to rising Covid cases in Kerala.
In contrast, Uttar Pradesh, which is over seven times bigger than Kerala, with a population of a massive 24 crore has a positivity rate of just 0.02% and has done an outstanding job in reining in Covid, with the average daily new cases at barely 42. The uncalled for and “unscientific” relaxations during Bakri Eid, by the Leftist, Pinarayi Vijayan government in a clear bid to appease Muslims for political gains, has been the single biggest reason for the huge surge in Covid cases in Kerala. The Leftist lobby, which is in denial, has been claiming that the rise in cases is only because the state is testing more, which is again a lie. In the first week of June, Kerala was testing 1.1 lakh on an average but the number has fallen by 13.5% to below 96,000 people. In the last eight weeks, despite a miniscule population, Kerala has been reporting between 150 to 227 deaths on a daily basis, much higher than UP. Half of UP’s total 75 districts don’t have any fresh case while 37 others have the single-digit tally and only one district is reporting double-digit cases.
In Kerala, at least 10 districts have positivity rate in excess of 10%, with some reporting as high as 14.8%. Kerala on an average has been reporting anywhere between 17,743 and 22,456 fresh Covid cases on a daily basis, with the 15-day moving average in excess of 30,000. The number of daily cases in Kerala was 43,000 on an average in mid-May 2021 and then it declined. However, from mid- June, cases started rising again in Kerala and despite this, the Pinarayi Vijayan government eased lockdown restrictions during Bakri Eid in July, in a classic display of criminal apathy and appeasement based politics. With cases continuing to soar in Kerala, especially the Delta-variant, the neighbouring states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also now at risk of an onslaught of another wave of the pandemic, thanks only to the incompetence and criminal negligence of a failed “Kerala Model”, practiced by the utterly incompetent and insensitive Left government that is ruling Kerala currently.
The Hathras Lobby which was vocal in its protest against the Kumbh Mela celebrations in Uttarakhand in April fell completely silent when it came to the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations in May, which were celebrated by flouting every Covid protocol. While most of the “shahi snans” were cancelled by the Uttarakhand government and the Kumbh Mela was truncated amidst huge outcry by the Leftist lobby, the deafening silence of the Left-Liberals, who chose to not condemn, either the Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Hyderabad in May this year, or the Bakrid festivities in Kerala in July this year, has raised many questions. Is Kumbh Covid-unfriendly but Eid al-Fitr Covid-friendly? Is Kanwar Yatra Covid-unfriendly but Bakrid Covid-friendly? Are large Namaaz gatherings every Friday outside the Mahim Dargah in Mumbai Covid-friendly? But Holi celebrations that were cancelled Covid-unfriendly? Why did the Khan Market Gang choose to clap, abet and encourage the thousands who gathered at the Charminar in Hyderabad during the Eid al-Fitr festivities in May this year rather than reprimanding them?
The “Lutyens Lashkar” lobby that condemned the Kanwar Yatra even before it began have been left completely exposed. The Kanwars or devout Shiv Bhakts, who wait for an entire year for yatra, which is the only source of livelihood for scores of people, cooperated and collaborated with the UP and Uttarakhand governments in a remarkable display of “life over livelihood” by calling off the pilgrimage. However, with every caution thrown to the wind, Muslim-dominated districts of Kerala like Malappuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad saw a massive surge in Covid cases immediately after the Bakrid celebrations with Muslim centric Malappuram seeing a massive 93% rise in infections. Some of the worst affected districts in Kerala are Malappuram (3931 daily average), Thrissur (3,005), Kozhikode (2,400), Ernakulam (2,397), Palakkad (1,649), Kollam (1,462), Alappuzha (1,461), Kannur (1,179), Thiruvananthapuram (1,101) and Kottayam with 1,067 average daily cases.
Attempts to deflect attention from the criminal apathy and gross mismanagement of the Covid pandemic in Kerala by the Left government is akin to adding salt to the injury of Kerala’s hapless people. The 15 day moving average of fresh cases in Kerala is over 30,000 cases in contrast to a tiny number in UP and Uttarakhand.
Over 46.50 crore vaccine doses have been administered cumulatively so far by the Modi government under the world’s fastest and biggest vaccination drive. More than 41 lakh vaccine doses have been administered in the last 3-4 days every single day on an average. Testing capacity has been substantially ramped up, with over 46.46 crore tests conducted to date nationally. India has vaccinated with the first dose, a population equal to New Zealand’s put together and this has been made possible only due to the visionary prowess and foresight of Prime Minister Modi, beside, of course, our medical fraternity that has been toiling day and night. India’s low fatality rate at 1.1% and high recovery rate at 97.4% are commendable indeed.
More than 48.38 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs. Further, 53.05 lakh doses are in the pipeline. More than 1.88 crore balance and unutilised doses are still available with states/UTs and private hospitals. Hence flimsy and baseless allegations by the Left dispensation of Pinarayi Vijayan that enough vaccines were not being supplied by the Centre, which led to slowing down of the vaccination process, and thereby causing more fresh cases are just a bunch of vicious lies. Kerala, the “Hathras Lobby” claims, is recording the sharpest rise in cases in the country fuelled by the Delta variant only because it has a seroprevalence of merely 44%, thereby implying that 56% lacked antibodies and consequently remained vulnerable to the infection. However, this reasoning is weak. For instance, Assam with a low seroprevalence rate of 50.3% is doing a pretty good job and a far better job than Kerala. Also, the antibody levels reported state-wise as part of the ICMR survey do not distinguish between those in response to a natural infection or through vaccination.
Clearly, ‘God’s Own Country’ has become the epicentre of India’s fresh Covid surge. In a sharp contrast, with fresh daily cases at merely 42, positivity rate of 2.6%, total active cases at just 729 and a recovery rate of 98.6%, Uttar Pradesh has done a phenomenal job in reining in Covid. Undoubtedly, the command and control model adopted by PM Modi in Varanasi, which is now being replicated elsewhere in UP, has been a resounding success and is a textbook case of how to manage a global pandemic.
Since the onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic in the country last year, Kerala has remained one of the two biggest epicentres of the infections in the country, along with Maharashtra. Maharashtra has at any given point accounted for over 30% of the total Covid fatalities in India and is yet another classic example of how a Congress centric alliance wreaked havoc with the so-called “Mumbai Model” falling apart with the state of Maharashtra reporting over 1.32 lakh Covid deaths so far. Despite raging infections in Kerala and the state government’s inability to manage the pandemic, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government gave in to the pressures of the Muslim community and lifted lockdown restrictions for three days to celebrate Bakri Eid or Eid-ul-Adha from July 18 to July 21. Interestingly, the Supreme Court, which had ruled against conducting Hindu religious events such as Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh stepped in pretty late when it came to issuing similar directions to the Kerala government and by the time the apex court stepped in enough damage had been done.
Apart from the excellent job done by UP, Kerala has seen over 16,585 Covid-related deaths despite a far smaller population. Another state which has shown tremendous maturity and alacrity in dealing with the pandemic is Uttarakhand, where the active caseload is only 672 cases and the recovery rate is pretty high at 95.89%. Unfortunately, recovery rate in Kerala is below that of the national average and also below that of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh clearly showcasing how the vacuous “Kerala Model” has crumbled in the face of a man made crisis — a crisis made by the incompetent Left government in Kerala led by the equally inept Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Congress scion Rahul Gandhi, who is the MP from Wayanad, is also culpable. Apart from taking potshots on Twitter at the Modi government, “compulsive liar”, Rahul has done little during the pandemic for either Wayanad or the people of Kerala. Unlike Kerala, with an active caseload of 38%, active caseload in Uttarakhand is barely 0.17% so for all those Hinduphobic data crunchers who thought that the Kumbh was a super spreader, must get their fact-checking skills verified. Data suggests Kumbh was not a super spreader but Maharashtra, Kerala and of course large parts of rural Punjab, supporting farmerers’ protests have certainly been super spreaders in more ways than one. In Uttar Pradesh too, the active caseload is just 0.18%, in a clear vindication of how the state has done a remarkable job in handling the pandemic, under the Yogi Adityanath-led government.
Around 2,000 seers of the Joona, Agni, Avahan, Kinnar, Udasin, Bada and Naya Udasin, Nirmal and Niranjani Akhadas and three Bairagi Akhadas kept the ‘Shahi Snan’ on April 27,2021 only symbolic on Chaitra Purnima after PM Modi appealed to the seers on April 17, 2021, to refrain from a physical ‘Shahi Snan’. “The people of India and their survival is our first priority. In view of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have duly immersed all the deities invoked on the occasion of Kumbh. This is the formal immersion-conclusion of Kumbh on behalf of Joona Akhara,” Swami Avadheshanand Giri, the ‘mahamandaleshwar’ of the Joona Akhara, said in a tweet in Hindi on the decision to cancel the last “shahi snan”.
From “vaccine hesitancy” propagated by the likes of Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Party’s Bhupesh Baghel to “vaccine wastage” encouraged by the utterly inept Congress-led Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan to “vaccine profiteering” by the Congress-led Amrinder Singh regime in Punjab to the failed “Kerala Model”, thanks to the criminal apathy of the Left government in the state, the pandemic has been a revelation. And the biggest revelation is this — if India is progressing rapidly towards vaccinating its entire adult population of 94 crore (940 million) people, it is only due to the tireless efforts of the Modi government, which has repeatedly displayed tremendous courage of conviction under the aegis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ensuring that the world’s largest vaccination drive proceeds seamlessly and steadfastly.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the stand of this publication.)