Shailaja busy getting herself on cover of fashion magazines: Union Minister V Muraleedharan

Health Minister KK Shailaja (left), Union Minister V Muraleedharan

Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Thursday alleged that Kerala failed to contain the spread of COVID-19. He also accused Health Minister K K Shailaja of being busy trying to get herself on the cover page of fashion magazines rather than focussing on the fight against coronavirus.

Muraleedharan told reporters here that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had failed in fighting the pandemic and wanted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to clarify who was responsible for the failure.

"Kerala is now a state reporting the most number of cases in a single day. The chief minister and the health minister have misled the people and worsened the situation. The situation in five districts is worse," Muraleedharan said.

The union minister further said if the credit for success in COVID-19 prevention activities goes to the state government, the chief minister should then clarify who was responsible for the present situation.

"Is it his fault or that of the health minister?In her hurry to be the face of fashion magazines, has the health minister become unaware of the current situation?," the union minister asked.

"Though the state had claimed to have flattened the curve months ago, we had warned the government not to mislead the people by giving them over-confidence," he said adding a propaganda had been spread across the world saying Kerala was fighting the pandemic better.

"Many major media-houses have written articles praising the health minister for her wondrous powers. But, now all of them are silent. The chief minister and the health minister should make it clear on what index they are repeating that Kerala is number-one in fighting the pandemic," Muraleedharan said.

Also, he said the state government had worsened the situation by opening cinema halls.

A week ago, Shailaja had said that the state managed to maintain a low fatality rate even as it was in a vulnerable position with high population density, high number of old-age population and the most number of diabetics.

"The rise in the number of cases is due to a robust surveillance and reporting system. We managed to delay the peak of the pandemic and upgraded the threshold of our health system," she had said.

"Our ultimate aim is to save the lives of the people and reduce the mortality rate. Even with this high number of cases, we managed to reduce the death rate," the minister had said.

With three more UK returnees to Kerala testing positive for the new variant of COVID-19, nine persons have so far been infected with the strain in the state.

The state has so far reported 8,31,259 cases and there are 66,503 active cases.

(With inputs from PTI)

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