COVD-19, Seroprevalence and the saffron propaganda against Kerala

The results of the latest Seroprevalence survey are out at a time when a major propaganda overdrive is happening nationwide to paint Kerala as a failure in containing COVID-19. Everyone from the average north Indian internet sanghi to the saffron propagandists of Times Cow news channel are working actively behind this propaganda. However, the Union health ministry’s own sero survey shows that Kerala was able to detect 1 in every 6 COVID-19 cases. India as a whole was able to detect only 1 in 34 COVID-19 cases, while sanghi model state UP was able to detect a paltry 1 in 100 cases.

Kerala had the lowest seroprevalence of 44.4%, indicating the lowest spread of the virus, among all the states, pointing at the effectiveness of the state’s focussed testing and isolation methods. The nationwide average is above 70%, with Madhya Pradesh at 79%, Bihar 75.9, Gujarat 75.3 and Uttar Pradesh 71%. This has been the pattern in all the four seroprevalence surveys conducted until now. With the number of people unexposed to the virus still remaining high in Kerala, combined with its effective tracking of positive cases, it is bound to show more positive results.

Now, propagandists from saffron states which failed to control the pandemic and let large numbers die without oxygen outside hospitals, are pointing fingers at a state, where not a single person has died without oxygen. Times Cow and the online saffron propagandists have also tied the current spike to Eid and the “easing of restrictions” as part of it. The Kerala Government did NOT allow any large religious gathering. Permission was only given for more shops to open, based on persistent requests and even threats from traders’ organisations. Quite a large number of shopkeepers have been in dire straits due to the lockdowns and they were justified in wanting to make some profits during the festive season. The Government permission was only for shops to open during this period, although this was misinterpreted by some elements who approached the Supreme Court.

Kerala is now being attacked and tarnished as part of an organised attempt to whitewash the ‘pegasus’ snooper duo and their gang members, who let thousands die without oxygen and which led dead bodies to float in ganga or buried in shallow sands by the river. Kerala is being penalised for not faking its numbers, as most saffron states are doing. It is unfortunate that some anti-state elements from Kerala too are part of this propaganda over-drive.