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Kerala following Centre’s guidelines on Covid-19, says Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

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Arif Mohammad Khan | File photo | PTI
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan | File photo | PTI


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New Delhi: The Centre’s guidelines on COVID-19 are being followed in Kerala and there is no problem, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on Thursday after the Union home ministry came down heavily on the state government for dilution of lockdown norms.

The Kerala government had allowed opening of restaurants, bus travel in cities and MSME industries in urban areas, but withdrew the relaxations after the ministry objected on Monday saying these amount to dilution of lockdown guidelines imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The governor also commended the Pinarayi Vijayan dispensation for its efforts in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

I am regularly briefed about the measures being taken by the LDF (Left Democratic Front) government on the fight against the deadly disease, Khan told PTI over phone.

I am not only satisfied with the government’s measures but also very happy with its performance, he said.

Khan, a former Union minister, said when the Centre expressed its unhappiness on some relaxations announced by the state government during the COVID-19 lockdown, Vijayan withdrew those relaxations.

There is absolutely no problem now. They are following the instructions and guidelines of the Central government totally , he said.

Kerala has recorded 438 COVID-19 cases with 323 patients already discharged or cured. The state has recorded three deaths due to the infection.

In a letter to the Kerala government, the home ministry on Monday had said the state government on April 17 had circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures which allowed opening of activities which are prohibited in the Centre’s consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15.

Such additional activities allowed by Kerla include opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four wheeler and pillion riding on scooters, it said

This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the home ministry had said.

The Kerala government had announced relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in two zones, allowing among others private vehicles movement on an odd-even basis and dine-in services at hotels from Monday.


Also Read: Delhi to Kerala — State response to Covid-19 makes it clear India needs a new health policy


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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