Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 24 October 2020 2.39 PM IST

COVID-19: All-party meet decides to adhere to health protocol strictly, rules out lockdown


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid rising COVID-19 cases, an all-party-meet in Kerala on Tuesday decided to fight the pandemic together and strictly follow the health protocol, while ruling out a lockdown to contain the virus spread. The Left government had called an all-party-meet to discuss the situation with the state seeing a record spike in coronavirus cases in the past few weeks.
Dismissing reports that the state will go into another lockdown, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said "The all- party-meet has agreed that lockdown is not a solution. The parties have agreed to fight the pandemic together. We have decided that strict implementation of COVID-19health protocol is a must.

Gatherings should be strictly avoided and the numbers for functions like weddings, funerals, political..everything should be restricted to the prescribed limit," Vijayan told reporters after the meeting.

When asked about the suggestion put forth by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to declare "health emergency" in the state due to rising cases, Vijyan said the situation was not as bad as to impose lockdown.

The Chief Minister also said all political parties have agreed to avoid mass gatherings for protests and other politicalevents.

"All the political parties have agreed to follow the COVID-19 health protocol.

However, the BJP representative said the party will continue with the protests and strengthen it but adhering to COVID-19 protocol," Vijayan said, adding the government was not against any sort of protests in a democracy.

He said cases have gone up in the state in September in a frightening manner and over 96 per cent of cases are through contacts.

"There are chances that the situation may get worse in the coming days. We need to prevent that.

At the all-party-meet, we have sought the support of the political parties and its leaders.We have requested local political leaders to intervene more and ensure that health protocol is strictly followed at local levels," Vijayan added.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said the lockdown was not a practical solution.

"Another complete lockdown is not a practical solution. We need to make sure that local bodies are effectively engaged in the (COVID-19) mitigation process.

The state government should also ensure that there are enough ICU, ventilator facilities in the state," Chennithala said.

BJP state chief K Surendran told reporters his party will continue staging protests against the state government but following the COVID-19 health protocol.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front had on Monday declared that it has temporarily halted its mass protests against the Left government following rising COVID-19 cases.

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