New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Kerala government on a plea against its decision to relax restrictions ahead of Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid), when the state is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The court has listed the matter for hearing tomorrow. The top court has linked this matter to the matter related to the ban on Kanwar Yatra.
The petition was filed by Delhi resident PKD Nambiar, who said that despite Kerala showing an alarming rise in Covid cases, the government has decided to relax restrictions on account of Bakrid. He termed this move of the Kerala government as shocking and said that the government is playing with the lives of citizens through such measures in case of a medical emergency.
Notably, while most states are seeing a decline in new COVID-19 cases, Kerala is seeing a rise in the number of cases. On Saturday, more than 16 thousand new cases were reported in Kerala whereas yesterday more than 13 thousand cases were reported.
The Indian Medical Association (PD) had already written to the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government urging it to withdraw the decision. In a release issued yesterday, IMA President JA Jayalal said the Kerala government’s decision to ease the COVID-19 restrictions on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha is unfair at the time of medical emergency.
The IMA had also warned of approaching the Supreme Court if the Kerala government did not implement the COVID rules to reduce the increasing number of cases.
The IMA, in its release, said, “Amid rising number of cases and seropositivity, the IMA is concerned, the Government of Kerala has issued an order to relax the lockdown rules in the state on the pretext of religious celebrations of Bakrid. This step taken during a medical emergency is absolutely inappropriate.
It is noteworthy that while Uttarakhand has already banned the Kanwar Yatra, the Uttar Pradesh government has also agreed to stop the Yatra as the Supreme Court slammed the government for its decision to go ahead with the Kanwar Yatra.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently announced easing of COVID-19 restrictions in view of Bakrid celebrations, which created a ruckus on social media. Vijayan had said that in view of Bakrid on July 21, clothing, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling household appliances and electronic goods, all kinds of repair shops and shops selling essential goods will be opened from July 18-19. will be allowed.