The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday warned Kerala against easing coronavirus restrictions ahead of Eid Al Adha or Bakrid because of the “inevitable, impending third wave”.
The IMA said that if the government does not withdraw its order, they would be forced to approach the Supreme Court.
“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 learned state of Kerala had taken these retrograde decisions,” it said in a statement.
Kerala had declared that lockdown restrictions in the state would be relaxed for three days starting Sunday owing to Bakrid.
Shops selling clothes, footwear, jewellery, gift items, home appliances and electronics and repair outlets will be allowed to open.
The issue has also sparked a fierce debate online and drawn comparisons to the cancellation of the Kanwar Yatra by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
On Saturday Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also said that a maximum of 40 people will be allowed in places of worship during the festival and they should be inoculated with at least the first dose of the vaccine.
Union minister V Muraleedharan told ANI that despite Kerala accounting for a “lion’s share” of infections in India, the state government is yet to adopt a scientific approach to contain the pandemic.
“Now that Bakrid has come, the government has announced a three-day exception for the lockdown. My suggestion is to follow the scientific approach and follow the guidelines of Government of India, ICMR guidelines and WHO. Do not utilise the pandemic as means of having political benefit out of it,” he said.
Kerala has so far 3,130,833 cases and 15,155 deaths due to COVID-19. On Saturday the state recorded another high of 13,750 cases while 130 more people succumbed to the disease.