The new year began in an inauspicious note in Kerala as death toll due to Covid-19 mounted to 48,184 by Monday and the Department of Health diagnosing 2,560 new cases during the last 24 hours, according to Health Minister Veena George.
Adding to the woes of the people, the number of cases Omicron detected in the State rose to 181 by Monday evening. Despite the increase in the number of Covid-19 and Omicron cases, Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) continued its State-wide agitation for the 27th successive day on Monday against the indifference of the Government to their demands for appointing temporary hands and restoration of the allowances slashed in 2020.
With both the Government of Kerala and the KGMOA refusing to make any concessions in their stances, the agitation by the doctors would enter 28th day on Tuesday. The doctors gave advance information to the State Government that there would not be any let up in their agitation or demands. The demonstration on Tuesday is expected to see a massive turn out of doctors in front of the State Secratariat, the permanent venue for all agitations against the government.
The NITI Aayog’s ranking of Kerala as the State with the best medical infrastructure has dampened as the agitation by the doctors is getting stronger by the day. Dr Cini Priyadarshini, State treasurer of Indian Medical Association who is also the District Medical Superintendent, told The Pioneer that there was a severe shortage of doctors and health professionals in the State. “We are short of 700 doctors. The number of doctors and nursing staff who fall prey to Covid-19 has gone up and this has to be addressed immediately.