The Congress and the BJP on Friday held the ruling CPI-M responsible for the alarming spike in the Covid-19 cases in the state, a charge denied by state Health Minister Veena George.
With the test positivity rate breaching the 40 per cent-mark and the state recording the highest ever daily new cases in excess of 46,000 on Thursday, the two parties said that the CPI-M's marathon district party meetings had turned into a "super-spreader".
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said the since the health department has been taken over by the CPI-M leadership, they decide everything according to their convenience.
"While it is the test positivity rate which determines the clamping of Covid protocols but unfortunately it has been discarded to hold the the three-day district party meetings at Thrissur and Kasargod (which began on Friday). For that, they have come with a new benchmark of number of hospitalisation due to Covid in hospitals. Kasargod has a TPR of 36, while in Thrissur it is 34," said Satheesan.
He said the recently held Thiruvananthapuram district CPI-M meeting turned into a super spreader with around 100 people turning Covid positive.
Not long ago, the Vijayan government had criticised the Congress law-makers for receiving Keralites at the Palakkad border when the state borders was opened, he said. Now, the same leaders are travelling from one district party meeting to another in violation of all protocols, he added.
"On Thursday, we saw how the Kasargod district collector withdrew an order she brought out on Covid protocols in a few hours and it was done to ensure the Kasargod district CPI-M meeting could continue. There is one set of rules for the CPI-M and another set for all others," said Satheesan.
It was in the Covid review meeting held on Thursday which decided to re-draw guidelines and re-group districts based on the number of hospitalisation on account of Covid into Category A,B and C.
Helth Minister George, who met the media here, denied all the allegations levelled by the Congress leadership.
"Kerala is passing through the third wave and we adopted different strategies in the first and second wave and this time the experts decided to go on the hospitalisation of patients in hospitals as the yard stick. We only apply scientific methods of control and I will not reply to political criticism," asserted George and questioned whether the opposition wants the state to come under total lockdown and end all economic activity.
George further said of the 1.99 lakh active Covid cases in the state only 3 per cent are at hospitals. Likewise just 0.7 per cent of the total beds with Oxygen support, 0.6 per cent of the ICU beds and 2 per cent of the ventilators at various Medical Colleges are being used by Covid patients now.
Meanwhile CPI-M state secretary who inaugurated the Trissur district party meeting said the party does not decide on Covid protocols as that's done by the government.
"Does it mean, that we want our people to turn Covid positive and does it mean that only CPI-M people are now turning positive. Wish to know which party meeting did film actor Mammootty attend for him to have turned Covid positive. Satheesan should simply not level allegations, said Balakrishnan.
Meanwhile, around 180 CPI-M leaders each are participating in party meetings at Trissur and Kasargod.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V.Muraleedharan said the CPI-M is challenging the people of Kerala by violating all guidelines in Covid rules.
"They should ideally have postponed the remaining district party meetings , if they really have any concern for the health and safety of the people. It appears through their defiance they have taken the onus to become super spreaders of the virus. This is not acceptable at all," said Muraleedharan.
The revised Covid guidelines which came out on Thursday has decided to keep January 23 and 30 (both Sundays) as a near lockdown with only essential activities.