While the country is seeing a dip in the third wave of coronavirus cases, caused by the more transmissible omicron variant, the leftist bastion of Kerala is repeating its dubious feat of the previous two waves. Reportedly, the cases in the southern state have consistently started hitting the 50k mark and the Pinarayi Vijayan government appears hapless.
Reportedly, Kerala logged 51,739 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday (December 27) taking the caseload to 58,26,596, while the death toll rose to 52,343 with 68 COVID-19-related deaths being registered. These numbers came at a time when states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, and Karnataka reported a dip.
According to health Minister Veena George, people in the 20-30 age group were now getting infected rather alarmingly in the state. Nearly 50 percent of the ICU beds and 14 percent of the ventilator beds have been occupied in the state. If the numbers continue to rise at the current pace, the state may have to impose a health emergency.
Experts closely monitoring the developments in the state are wary that the Kerala government may try its similar tactic of hiding the death numbers as it did in the first two waves of the pandemic.
Kerala government concealed the death numbers
As reported by TFI, in October last year, allegations of data fudging regarding the death numbers by the Vijayan government came out in the open. The state government was accused of concealing the death of 7,000 covid patients in the state.
On the 8th of October, 2021, Veena George, the health minister of Kerala announced that a total of 7,000 deaths will be added to the overall tally of covid deaths in Kerala. According to her statement, these deaths were not included in official numbers because the hospitals started to upload data only after June 2021 and these deaths occurred before that.
As a result, Kerala’s claim of lowest COVID-19 CFR of 0.3% – 0.4% has fallen, ever since the deaths, hidden from the public, to appease the friendly media has started making its way into the records.
Supreme Court slams Vijayan administration
It is pertinent to note that it wasn’t the Kerala government that started recording the actual deaths, out of its goodness. Reportedly, it was Supreme Court that forced the Kerala government to initiate a death reconciliation exercise to ensure ex-gratia payment to all families who lost their relatives to the pandemic.
According to The Hindu report, the process is continuing and with over 10,000 appeals for inclusion on the official toll list still pending, the proportion of under-counted could rise further. As per records, counted till earlier this month, Kerala added a whopping 19,343 deaths to the State’s official toll, since October.
Similarly, in an alleged multi-million dollar scandal in Kerala, over 3,000 files have gone missing from the computer network of Kerala Medical Service Corporation (KMSCL, dealing with the purchase of medical equipment at inflated rates.
Kerala healthcare model cheerleaders nowhere to be seen
When covid-19 was at its peak during the first wave of Pandemic, Kerala was held as a model state by national and international news portals and websites. Some institutes even conducted studies to study the model and its success. The state government took a lot of credit for their health infrastructure.
However, after the spurt in cases for the umpteenth time, the intellectual cheerleaders of the Kerala model have fallen completely silent and the Lutyens media that went gaga over the so-called model is nowhere to be seen – forget questioning the fudged death numbers.