Udayavni Special

VHP objects to easing of Covid restrictions for Eid-ul-Azha in Kerala


PTI, Jul 18, 2021, 5:55 PM IST

New Delhi: The Vishva Hindu Parishad on Sunday objected to the Kerala government’s decision to relax Covid restrictions because of Eid-ul-Azha, which will be celebrated on July 21, saying it poses a ”huge” public health challenge.

The Uttarakhand government recently canceled the annual Kanwar Yatra because of the possibility of a third wave of the Covid pandemic hitting the country, the outfit’s working president Alok Kumar told reporters.

Kerala’s decision poses ”a huge public health challenge” and it will weaken the nation’s fight against the pandemic, he said.

The Uttar Pradesh government had first decided to allow the Kanwar Yatra with certain restrictions, but later canceled the annual pilgrimage ”accepting that right to life is paramount”, after the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of the matter, Kumar said. Restrictions have been relaxed for three days in Kerala, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) said and hoped that the apex court will take cognizance of the matter.

”We are surprised that even after all these developments in the public domain, the Kerala chief minister announced that there will not be any restriction during the three days of Eid-ul-Azha. Malls, theatres, markets will remain open,” the VHP leader said.

”This is going to be a huge public health challenge. This will weaken the nation’s fight against the Covid pandemic. I hope that the Supreme Court would take suo moto cognizance of this too and avert a major threat to public health in the country,” he added. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday announced certain relaxations in the Covid restrictions. He said because of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) being celebrated on July 21 in the state, textiles, footwear shops, jewelry, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B, and C areas.

In D category areas, these shops can function only on July 19, he said. Areas with a Test Positivity Rate of less than five percent are included in category A, those with five to 10 percent are included in category B, areas with 10 to 15 percent in category C and those above 15 percent will be in category D. ”Along with the other permitted activities, electronic shops, and electronic repair shops can also be opened on all days from 7 am to 8 pm in category A and B areas and during permitted days in other categories,” he said. Places of worship can be allowed with a maximum of 40 people on special occasions of celebration, the chief minister said.

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