Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 15 : The 74th Independence Day celebrations in Kerala were low key as the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll.
Even Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and seven of his cabinet colleagues are presently under self isolation. In three of the 14 districts of the state, the chief guest for the event was the district collector, while in Malappuram, with the Collector testing Covid positive, it was his deputy who headed the event.
In the state capital, State Tourism and Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran was the chief guest in the absence of Vijayan.
The only one instance in the past when such a thing happened was in 1992, when then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran was injured in a road accident, and then Finance Minister took his place.
All events in all the district took place under strict Covid protocols and were brief ones.
In Idukki, State Power Minister M.M. Mani in his short speech expressed confidence that the state will come out of the pandemic.
In the past two weeks on an average over a thousand new positive cases have been added daily. As a result, so far 41,090 people have been infected, of which 14,094 are active, while over 1.55 lakh are under observation.
Latest updates on Independence Day 2020