Kerala

Amid spike in cases, Kerala enforces tighter restrictions

Taking stock: Police reviewing the enforcement of security arrangements in Kochi on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Taking stock: Police reviewing the enforcement of security arrangements in Kochi on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Tighter restrictions came into force from Saturday in the State as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

District Collectors had issued prohibitory orders by invoking Section 144 of the Cr.PC banning certain activities, including gathering of more than five people in public spaces.

In 13 districts, except Kasaragod, the prohibitory orders will be in place till the midnight of October 31. In Kasaragod, it will be in place till the midnight of October 9, as per the order issued by the District Collector. 

The State government had on October 1 directed the Collectors to impose the restrictions, given the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases across the State. As per the orders, a maximum of 50 persons are allowed to attend marriages and 20 persons at funerals. 

Government functions and religious, political, social and cultural activities should restrict attendance to a maximum of 20 persons. Public transport, government and commercial institutions, industries, hospitals can operate by adhering to social distancing and break-the-chain protocols.

11 arrested

Eleven persons were arrested and 25 cases registered on Saturday for violation of the prohibitory orders, the police said.

Meanwhile, it appeared that the orders also gave rise to some confusion as to what is allowed and what is not. Many people took to the Facebook pages of District Collectors to air their doubts regarding a multitude of issues such as whether dining is still allowed in restaurants, whether shops are allowed to function or not, and whether cinema halls would open on October 15 as permitted by the Centre.

Quite a few people wanted to know whether gymnasiums are allowed to open when the prohibitory orders are in force. The District Collector, Malappuram, for instance, had on Friday itself specified restrictions on sports activities/facilities, including gyms and swimming pools, but many Collectors had not.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday that COVID-19 prevention measures would be enforced more stringently in the State. The government decided to impose a heftier fine for failure to wear masks and close down shops that disobey norms.

In shops, especially, it was important to maintain social distancing, wear gloves and masks, and use sanitiser, the Chief Minister said. The government plans to increase the number of COVID-19 tests, he said.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 1:02:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/confusion-galore-over-ban-orders/article32761447.ece