Malayalam actors Mammootty, Ramesh Pisharody, and 300 other people have had a case registered against them for flouting Covid-19 protocols during an event at Meitra Hospital in Kerala’s Kozhikode district.
On August 3, Mammootty and Ramesh had visited Kozhikode to inaugurate a robot-assisted joint replacement surgery service at Meitra Hospital, Edakkad. According to the police, there were around 300 people near Mammootty and the participants did not abide by physical distancing norms, as per a report in The Hindu. Though Covid-19 protocols were followed at the beginning of the event, the rules were flouted later on and several invitees behaved irresponsibly, the police added.
The report adds that producer Anto Joseph was also booked on the same charge.
The Hindu report further states that hospital sources denied deliberate violations of the norms and claimed that the presence of celebrities had evoked some unexpected responses from fans.
The FIR dated August 6, shared on Asianet News, says a suo-moto case was filed by Elathur police station against hospital’s director Ali Faizal, chairman PK Ahamed, chief operating officer Abraham Samuel Raju, actors Mammootty and Ramesh Pisharody, as well as 300 other people.
The case has been registered under sections 4(2) (f)5,6 of the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Act, 2021. According to the act, the punishment can include two years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 10,000.
In June 2021, the Kerala government passed the Epidemic Diseases Bill through which government can impose restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 and ban events, including religious gatherings, that tend to violate protocols. The powers have been decentralised to the respective district collectors to take decisions with respect to situations that pave the way for the spread of the infection.
As of Monday, Kerala has recorded 1,76,576 active Covid-19 cases with a total of 17,747 deaths. The state’s Test Positivity Rate stands at 13.87%.