Kochi: Setting aside their differences, leaders of Kerala’s caste and religious organisations on Saturday issued a joint statement calling upon people of the state to “stand together with determination and to overcome the trauma” caused by the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
“We have been able to tide over many a crisis. We are sure that we will be able to unitedly fight and destroy the Coronavirus too. To make that fight a success, what we need is total unity of the masses, transcending the barriers of casts, religions etc and we do have that sort of unity in abundance”, said the joint statement issued by prominent leaders of Hindu, Muslim and Christian groups.
Hailing the timely intervention of the state government and the effective steps taken by it to contain the spread of the virus, the leaders said, “this is a big gain, as far as we are concerned and this is appreciated by the world at large”.
“To curb the spread of the virus, we enforced certain restrictions on the entry to pilgrim centers. We are fighting this menace by highlighting the concern for the other and the subtle values of humanity”, it said.
Noting that even the immensely rich and developed countries were standing helpless and stunned at the spread of the epidemic, the leaders said the fight against the fast spreading COVID 19 has almost assumed the dimension of the fight for the survival of the humanity as a whole.
“Being the representatives of various religious orders, we urge upon all of you to stand together with determination and to overcome the trauma”, it said. Highlighting two major risk factors in Kerala, the first state in India which detected the presence of COVID-19, they said one was the high level of contact with foreign nationas who visit Kerala as tourists and the second, the presence of Keralites in all parts of the world, either as employees or students and their frequent mobility to and from Kerala. “Against this backdrop, it is quite natural that the disease landed in Kerala at an early stage itself”, they said.
Initially the well equipped health system prevailing in Kerala could treat and successfully ensure the total recovery of the three students who had returned from abroad, the statement said.
“On the one hand, we keep ourselves aloof from the disease and on the other, ensure the safety of those who are around us. We know pretty well that the state government is in the forefront to lead us in this fight.
The leaders said there was no room for panic and what the situation now demanded was for alertness and vigil of the highest order.
‘What leads us is not despair, but the hope for goodness.
This should lead one and all”, the statement said.
The statement was signed by leaders, including Sayyid Muthukkoya Jifri Thangal (President, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulamaa), Vellappally Nadesan, (GeneralSecretary, SNDP yogam), Cardinal George Alenchery (Syro Malabar Church head), KanthakpuramA P Aboobacker Musaliyar (President, Kerala Muslim Jamath Samashta (AP Sunni) and G Sukumaran Nair (General Secretary, NSS), among others.