THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A war of words has erupted between Health Minister K K Shailaja and state Congress leaders over the incident in which people thronged the streets of Poonthura on Friday in brazen violation of the triple lockdown norms. In a Facebook post, Shailaja said it was unfortunate that the health workers, who are rendering yeoman service in the fight against the pandemic, had been targeted. She said health professionals, including doctors, have been forced to go in quarantine after some of the locals coughed openly on their faces.
“Nowhere in the world has health professionals encountered such a bitter experience. Under no circumstances will the attack on health professionals be tolerated. The attempts of certain people to undermine the morale of health workers cannot be condoned when in reality it should be the people who should ensure that the health workers get all the facilities,” said Shailaja.Earlier in the day, Chennithala raised the Poonthura issue at his Cantonment House presser. Chennithala said people in Poonthura were provoked by the government’s apathy towards them..
“By blaming the fishermen for defying the Covid -19 protocol, the chief minister has belittled them. It should be recalled how he had referred to them as Kerala’s Army for their selfless service during the flood devastation,” he said. Oommen Chandy also took to Facebook to respond to the health minister’s remarks. He said the people in Poonthura had hit the streets as they were fed up with the government’s antics. He maintained that there is no point in seeing politics in the peoples’ convergence. Shashi Tharoor, MP condemned the ‘unpleasant’ incident at Poonthura which saw health workers getting a raw deal.
He has come up with a five- point strategy for the government — ward-wise segregation of positive cases, proper care for patients, compassionate behaviour and support from police, supply of essentials and distribution of provision kits for those living on daily sustenance.