Updated: April 14, 2020 03:18 AM GMT
Medical staff collect samples from people at a new walk-in sample kiosk (WISK) to test for the coronavirus at Ernakulam Medical College in Kerala on April 6. (Photo: Arun Chandrabose/AFP)
People in most parts of Kerala in southern India have dropped their differences of religion and politics to come together to ward off the spread of Covid-19 infections and help the needy poor.Hindus, Christians and Muslims, cutting across party ideologies, work with officials of the state’s communist-led government in managing community kitchens to provide food for the needy and in running state campaigns on pandemic preventive measures.Kannur district in northern Kerala remains an example of such activities, with some 37,000 members of Tellicherry Archdiocese becoming part of the district’s "Break the Chain" campaign. The campaign stresses social distancing, washing hands regularly and other such measures to arrest the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 disease.“We have joined the district administration because it is a social need,” said Father Benny Nirappel, who heads the social service wing of Tellicherry Archdiocese.India had recorded more than 9,000 cases and at least 308 deaths from Covid-19 by April 13. Globally, the pandemic has killed more than 114,000 people from about 1.85 million positive cases.Although Kerala has reported only 230 cases and two deaths, the federal government has asked all 29 Indian states to be vigilant to ward off spreading the virus to communities. “It is high time that we all need to join hands to curb the coronavirus outbreak which continues to claim lives in our country,” Father Nirappel told UCA News.The priest has asked all archdiocesan social service members to use their social media platforms to spread the message of the Break the Chain campaign.“We installed water tanks and sanitizers at Kannur district headquarters to encourage the public to be part of the campaign,” the priest added.
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