Kerala

CM Pinarayi weighs further restrictions on civic life to curb COVID-19 resurgence

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will chair a top-level meeting on Thursday to consider restricting civic life further to even out the rising graph of COVID-19 infections in the State.

Top health, law enforcement and revenue officials will attend the meeting via videoconference. The discussion will review the availability of vaccines and weigh increasing COVID-19 testing and inoculation exponentially in the coming days.

District Medical Officers, District Magistrate and District Chiefs of Police would appraise the Chief Minister about the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions. Municipal Corporation Mayors and District Panchayat chiefs were also in the loop.

Election campaign

According to some assessments, the tumultuous Assembly election campaign and an incremental laxity in observing the pandemic protocol had contributed to the surge in infections.

An official said citizens also seemed to have slid back into the tempo of pre-COVID-19 era normalcy. They thronged shopping malls, crammed into restaurants and attended crowded weddings. The fallout was a rise in infections. Hence the government had launched a back to basics campaign.

Micro-containment zones

It has imposed micro-containment zones in scores of localities across Kerala. Most of the pandemic hot spots were densely populated urban localities.

The meeting would attempt to strike a balance between containing the COVID-19 resurgence and ensuring the economy did not sputter to a halt.

The government has already required shops to down shutters by 9 p.m. It has persuaded hotels and restaurants to focus on home delivery and limit indoor dining. Transport buses should not admit passengers more than the allowed seating capacity. Shopping malls, textile and jewellery shops should not hold or advertise retail events that could attract many shoppers.

The government had on Monday limited open-air and indoor gatherings to not more than 200 and 100 persons, respectively. It had also banned communal feasting. However, organisers could supply guests with parcelled meals.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 8:45:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cm-pinarayi-weighs-further-restrictions-on-civic-life-to-curb-covid-19-resurgence/article34323678.ece

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