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Opposition leader V D Satheesan criticises Kerala's Covid response

Malappuram, Kerala: Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, V D Satheesan, accused the state government on Monday of not taking any steps to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the southern state.

Speaking to reporters, Satheesan said that even though 89 per cent of the Covid cases in the country are in the state, the Kerala government has not provided clear information about the action taken.

“The spread of Covid-19 is intensifying in the state. However, the government has not yet issued any clear statements on this,” the Congress leader alleged.

He further stated that at the national level, the Ministry of Health reports that out of more than 1,800 cases in the country, over 1,600 cases have been reported in Kerala.

“There were four deaths….111 new cases were reported yesterday (Sunday) alone,” he said, quoting national level reports.

Satheesan alleged that the state government is inactive, possibly waiting for the conclusion of the state government’s outreach programme, Nava Kerala Sadas.

“The government should take immediate action before people start panicking about the spread of the virus,” he said.

On Sunday, Kerala Health Minister Veena George had said that the Covid-19 sub-variant JN.1, found in the state, is not a cause for concern.

Her statement came a day after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the case was detected during routine surveillance by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

Addressing the media, George had explained that this variant was identified months ago in Indian passengers screened at the Singapore Airport.

She assured the public, saying there is no need to worry as it’s a sub-variant recently identified through genome sequencing in Kerala.

Despite the reassurance, the minister has advised caution, especially for those with underlying health conditions.

(Published 18 December 2023, 10:07 IST)

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