Kochi under heavy police security blanket

The NH bypass in front of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at Nettoor in Ernakulam wears a deserted look after the State-wide lockdown came into force.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Kochi City police have made it clear that the restrictions accompanying the nine-day State-wide lockdown that kicked in on Saturday will be enforced strictly even as surveillance along city borders was beefed up considerably.

Inspector General of Police and District Police Chief (Kochi City) C.H. Nagaraju said as much while urging people to stay indoors as much as possible in view of the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases, and that even for purchase of essential commodities only one person from the family should step out of home.

“Those found violating the COVID protocol will be slapped with provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Kerala Epidemic Disease Ordinance, and relevant sections of the IPC,” he said.

Necessary arrangements have been made to ensure access to essential commodities, with shops and offices exempted from the lockdown. The police ensured that shops and other business establishments downed shutters at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday.

Barricaded fast-track channels are being provided for swift movement of oxygen cylinders, oxygen tankers, doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff. Vehicle checking has been intensified at all city points sharing border with other districts. Nearly 100 picket posts have been erected.

The city police have deployed 45 bike patrols and 42 jeep patrols as part of enforcing the lockdown.

Employees of various departments and staff of private firms deemed as essential services are being allowed to move around carrying relevant identity cards. “Those heading to vaccination centres should carry the registration documents. People travelling out of the State or the country should produce train or flight tickets. Inter-State cargo movement continues unhindered,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

Those attending marriages or funerals should duly register with the COVID Jagratha portal. Taxis and autorickshaws will be allowed only for hospital trips and conveyance of passengers to airport and railway stations.

Mr. Nagaraju said the well-being of migrant workers had been ensured. No gatherings entailing crowding will be allowed. Strict action will be taken against those violating quarantine norms and loitering outside without valid reasons, and their vehicles will be seized. The seized vehicles will be detailed till further orders, and the Motor Vehicles Department will be recommended to suspend the driving licence of the erring motorists.

Those booked for COVID protocol violations will not be given police clearance certificates for passports. Double-masking is mandatory. Mr. Nagaraju warned of stern action against shops that do not provide sanitisers and maintain lists of visitors.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 4:07:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-under-heavy-police-security-blanket/article34515680.ece

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