Pinarayi Shailaja
Kerala is often held out to be an example that India should emulate.

COVID spike: IMA wants Kerala to go for virtual swearing-in ceremony

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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the ruling Left Democratic Front government in Kerala to conduct the swearing-in of the new government on a virtual platform following an unprecedented surge in COVID cases.

The state chapter of the medical body pointed out that the violation of social distancing norms and the lack of usage of face masks during campaigning for the recent Assembly elections were among the several reasons that triggered the second wave of the pandemic in the state.

The new government has returned to power promising to uphold scientific temper and understanding, it said.

“So, the conduct of the swearing-in ceremony on the virtual platform, avoiding the gathering of people, will give a strong message of fight against COVID-19,” the IMA said, in a statement.

The outfit of medicos also applauded the Pinarayi Vijayan government for its decision to extend the lockdown till May 23, considering the demand of the scientific community.

Also read: Kerala COVID spike linked to UK variant, shows data

Kerala reported 43,529 fresh Covid cases and 95 deaths on Wednesday (May 12). At present, the positivity rate in the state stands at 29.5 per cent. The state government, which had been sending surplus medical oxygen to neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, has now halted the supply citing higher demand at home.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week said the state could not supply any more oxygen to its neighbouring states, and that its buffer oxygen stock had depleted to 86 tones.

The state’s Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization is in the process of setting up additional oxygen production facilities in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad. On its part, the state government has seized about 2,473 industrial oxygen cylinders lying unused in industries.

Also read: Kerala church retreat: Two more priests die of COVID, five critical

The new LDF ministry, headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is expected to assume power on May 20. The LDF has made a ground-breaking victory with 95+ seats in the 140-member Assembly. The practice of UDF and LDF coming to power alternately has been broken. For the first time in 40 years, the ruling front returns to power with a shining victory.

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