During the spreading Covid-19 outbreak, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) requested the Kerala Government not to allow public gatherings in the State on the festival of Eid-al-Adha or Bakrid.
The organization has warned to take the State to the Supreme Court if the relaxations are not reversed.
In light of the Bakrid on July 20, the Kerala Government issued many relaxations on the Covid-19 limits, which will be in effect for three days starting Sunday. The IMA reacted to the news by urging Kerala not to relax the Covid-19 limitations on religious meetings, especially since it is one of the few Indian States where new cases are still being reported.
The doctors’ group also cited the cancellation of this year’s Kanwar Yatra in the North Indian States like Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“With the dedicated and committed services of the Government and the Modern medical fraternity, today we are in the declining phase of the second wave throughout the country, except in few a States like Kerala and Maharashtra, where we are still having the high number of cases,” the IMA said in a statement signed by its president, Dr JA Jayalal, and secretary-general, Dr Jayesh Lele.
“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 the learned State of Kerala had taken this decision which will pave the wave for mass gatherings,” the IMA added.
The IMA had previously expressed concern about large-scale gatherings around the country as a result of the reopening of tourism and religious pilgrimage. In a letter to the Central and State Governments, the IMA warned that large gatherings could act as “super spreaders” for the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
“It is painful to note that in this crucial time when everyone needs to work for the mitigation of the third wave, in many parts of the country, both government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols,” the IMA said in a letter.
For at least another three months, the doctors had encouraged Governments to aggressively enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour. “Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour all are needed, but can wait for few more months,” the IMA said.