The Kerala High Court on Wednesday said that the test positivity rate in Kerala was increasing as authorities were not able to enforce isolation protocol properly, Bar and Bench reported. The court noted that the only ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 were either by preventing crowding or enforcing a full lockdown, according to PTI.
Kerala has reported 36,10,193 coronavirus cases and 18,120 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020. Though cases across India have decreased over the past few weeks, Kerala accounts for nearly 50% of the infections reported in the country every day.
On Wednesday, Kerala reported 23,500 new Covid-19 cases and 116 deaths, while India registered 41,195 infections and 490 deaths in the past 24 hours. Kerala alone accounted for more than 57% of the cases reported in India in the past 24 hours.
The state’s daily test positivity rate decreased to 14.49% from 15.91% on the previous day, PTI reported. However, this is still far above India’s test positivity rate of 1.94%, as reported by NDTV.
Justice Devan Ramachandran on Wednesday expressed concern about the failure of authorities to implement new guidelines on preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease.
On August 4, the state government allowed markets, hotels, banks, offices and other establishments to open for six days a week, despite the surge in coronavirus cases. But the new guidelines mandated that anyone visiting shops must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a negative RT-PCR test result.
The High Court made these remarks while hearing a contempt petition against the government and the state-run Beverages Corporation. The court noted that Covid-19 norms need to be enforced at liquor shops just like at other shops.
Justice Ramachandran told the state government that it cannot compromise on coronavirus related safety norms at state-run liquor outlets just because it gets revenue from them, according to Bar and Bench.
In the previous hearing on Tuesday, the judge said he personally saw a liquor shop recently and said that it was being run like a “dingy drug and gambling den that is seen in old Bollywood movies”.
“Just because those people are poor and hardworking and they come in the evening and they buy their liquor, their beverage, it doesn’t mean you can treat them like cattle, or worse,” the court had noted.