Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal after yet another special train was scheduled to arrive in the state unannounced.
On May 24, Pinarayi had written to the Railway Minister after a special train from Mumbai left for Thiruvananthapuram, without any information given to the state authorities on details of the passengers. Pinarayi had requested the Railways to ensure that the state is informed before special trains are allotted. Passengers have to register at the Kerala government portal and the Railways were requested to share details of the passengers with the government in order to set up arrangements for their arrival, screening and quarantine.
â€śWe want to take special measures with regard to those coming from places where there are many cases. We have not turned away anybody. Our only request is that passengers coming in these trains register with the Kerala government portal and that the Railway share their details. This can be used to identify whether these passengers have enough facilities to home quarantine themselves or if the government should arrange for institutional quarantine facilities for them,â€ť Pinarayi added.
Despite making this request through a letter, Pinarayi added that the very next day, another train was scheduled to depart from Mumbai unannounced.
â€śThis train was cancelled after officials intervened as no official information had been given to the state,â€ť Pinarayi added. It was following this that the CM decided to write to Prime Minister Modi, informing him about that if trains arrived unannounced to the state, then it has potential to â€śderail all the arrangements made to quarantine people and contain the spread of the virus in the stateâ€ť.
According to reports, Piyush Goyal had alleged that Kerala had refused to allow the train from Mumbai into the state. However, the Chief Minister refused these claims in Tuesdayâ€™s press conference, affirming that the only demands of the state was for passengers to register themselves with the Kerala government portal and to receive information about incoming passengers.
â€śIt is rather unfortunate that Piyush Goyal does not understand even a fraction of the gravity of the issues that this country is facing today. I do not comment more on the issue,â€ť Pinarayi added, in response to the Railway Ministerâ€™s reply.
67 new cases and one death in Kerala
One more person died in Keralaâ€™s Kannur district on Tuesday. A 61-year-old woman named Asiya from Dharmadom who tested positive for the virus and was under treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital had passed away. With this, seven persons have died from COVID-19 in Kerala.
Kerala saw another big spike in cases on Tuesday after 67 people tested positive for the virus. Twenty nine cases are from Palakkad, where the possibility of a community spread has been raised. Kannur reported eight positive cases, Kottayam six, Malappuram and Ernakulam five each, Thrissur and Kollam four each and Kasaragod and Alappuzha three each.
While 27 cases came from foreign countries, nine patients had travelled from Tamil Nadu, 15 from Maharashtra, five from Gujarat, two from Karnataka, one from Delhi and Puducherry each. Seven patients were infected through contact, the CM added.
Meanwhile, 10 people also recovered in the state on Tuesday, after testing negative for the virus.
With this the total number of cases in Kerala stands at 964 and total active cases are at 415.