Covid data emailed, fail to understand Centre's query: Kerala Health Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, April 19 (IANS) State Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday blamed the Centre for propagating false things that Kerala has stopped updating daily Covid figures.
 
Covid data emailed, fail to understand Centre's query: Kerala Health Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, April 19 (IANS) State Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday blamed the Centre for propagating false things that Kerala has stopped updating daily Covid figures.

"Such a thing has not happened at all and we all are surprised on how the Centre can say such a thing, when everyday we have been sending the daily Covid figures through e-mail. The Centre is propagating false things," said George and added there were around 200 new cases on Monday.

Incidentally, from the beginning of last week, the health department decided not to give daily updates on Covid scenario in the state, which for over two years used to come at 6 p.m. everyday since April 2020.

Initially, it was the daily press briefing by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and after recording a stellar victory in the April 2021 Assembly polls, he slowly withdrew. After his last press meeting in September 2021, he met the media only in February 2022. And the Covid handling was left to George.

It was on Monday that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare wrote a letter to the Kerala government for not updating the Covid data on a daily basis.

In the letter to the Kerala Principal Secretary, Health Rajan N. Khobragade, the Union health ministry requested for daily updation of the required details as being done by other states also.

"It has been observed that Kerala has reported its Covid-19 state level data after a gap of 5 days since April 13," reads the letter.

This has impacted and skewed the status of India's key monitoring indicators like cases, deaths, and positivity. India has reported a 90 per cent increase in new cases, and 165 per cent increase in positivity in a single day, adds the letter further.

The daily and diligent reporting of data is critical to arrive at a meaningful understanding of pandemic in the districts, state and national level and ensure that any anomalies, surge or emerging trends can be captured in a timely manner, the letter noted.

"Quick and continuous update of data will assist in India's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and will help not only in tracking and monitoring but will also help in defining the strategies and plans at the Centre, State and District level," Lav Agarwal, Joint Health Secretary, said in the letter.

--IANS

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