Kerala

Coronavirus | Lockdown to become more intense in Kerala from May 17

Police personnel check vehicles at IMA junction in Palakkad, Kerala on May 15, 2021.   | Photo Credit: K.K. Mustafah

Kerala will move into a highly restrictive lockdown phase on May 17. The government will review the regulations again on May 23. A senior official said any relaxation is unlikely till the surge in COVID-19 infections abated to an acceptable level.

Chief Secretary V. P. Joy is chairing a series of meetings and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to make an announcement around 6 p.m.

 

It seems to be a season of hard choices for Kerala. The State faces more social restrictions as the grim shadow of the pandemic appears to lengthen.

Police, Health and Revenue officials are in consultation to fix the template for the lockdown. They are expected to release a list of dos and don'ts soon.

The shutdown is set to be the toughest in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Malappuram districts.

The regions are facing an upswing in infections driven by the highly transmissible variants of the virus.

The government wants to rein in the infections before they overwhelm the State's limited health infrastructure. The uptick in coronavirus deaths is a matter of concern.

Consequently, the clampdown on life, mobility, socialising, production, and retail business will be three-fold in the epidemic ravaged regions.

Unlike the lockdown in 2020, the government might allow hotels to open for home delivery in the "triple lockdown" districts.

Officials say they are yet to take a final call on the matter. The government is keen on keeping the gig economy ticking to mitigate the large scale loss of livelihood.

It is emphasising e-commerce and home delivery to ensure the labour market for freelance work remained alive.

Construction and agriculture activities could continue unimpeded. There is no restriction on domestic workers and manual labourers.

The police will curb inter-district travel. Air and rail passengers can journey provided they carry tickets and allied travel documents. Residents have to remain indoors and venture out only to procure essentials from neighbourhood stores.

The police will fence off hot spots and infection clusters from the rest of the locality.

Only law enforcers, volunteers, delivery persons and local ward committee members can enter fenced-in neighbourhoods.

The police will assign a beat patrol officer for every ten houses. Motorcycle patrols will assist them. There will be no public transport.

The administration has banned indoor gatherings. It has urged people to postpone weddings, house warmings and other non-essential social events if possible. Public squares, parks and walking circuits are off-limits for citizens until further notice.

Local bodies are scrambling to set up community kitchens and fair price hotels. The administration is also gearing up to distribute free food kits to households irrespective of their income.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 12:54:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/coronavirus-lockdown-to-become-more-intense-in-kerala-from-may-17/article34565402.ece

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