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Numbers rising: IMA slams Kerala’s lock-down rules, isolation strategy

The Kerala unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called the state’s COVID-19 restrictions “unscientific” and “ineffective”, stating that they have encouraged people to crowd public spaces more.

In a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Kerala chapter of IMA has said that it was natural for people to crowd outside shops if these establishments were open for only few days in a week and for longer hours.

The letter comes at a time when the southern state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Also read: World in ‘early stages’ of third wave amid surge in Delta variant: WHO

Stressing that the government should now ramp up contact tracing, the IMA has strictly advised against home isolation of COVID-19 patients, which it says, increases the spread of the disease.

“Even if one person tests positive and stays in isolation for a week, everyone is testing positive in the house. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Kerala houses, every house is reportedly turning into a cluster,” the letter said.

The doctors’ body has instead suggested the government to set up FLCTS (first-line treatment centres) and community living centres where COVID-19 patients can quarantine and recover.

Noting that almost 70 per cent of Kerala residents were dependent on private hospitals, the IMA has criticized the government for not collaborating with private players for the state’s vaccination drive.

Also read: China goes for COVID vaccine outreach in India’s backyard amid shortages

“Private players were ready to distribute the government vaccines free of charge and by even foregoing the service charge. However, the government said no to this,” the IMA letter read.

The association has also demanded the government to conduct a sero prevalence study to know the percentage of people who are still susceptible to the disease and take steps accordingly.

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