Kerala

COVID-19 surge | Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Kollam under clamp down

Police personnel posted on Panampally Nagr checked commuters as a near lockdown is imposed to control a spike in COVID 19 cases

Police personnel posted on Panampally Nagr checked commuters as a near lockdown is imposed to control a spike in COVID 19 cases

Four more districts in Kerala have clamped down on gatherings and a range of recreational activities to slow down the accelerated spread of the suspected Omicron variant driven COVID-19 surge.

On Thursday, an online pandemic monitoring committee meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remotely from the U.S. classified Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Kollam as category C (Threshold-3).

Baseline

The committee relies on hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions as the point of reference or baseline for classifying districts into A (Threshold-1), B (Threshold-2) and C (Threshold-3) categories.

Limited attendance

As per the new calculus, the category C grading entailed limiting the number of persons at marriages, funerals and social events to a maximum of 20.

It also warranted a temporary ban on visitors at religious places of worship. Rituals and prayers could switch to cyberspace.

Gyms, swimming pools, cinemas closed

The district authorities have ordered the closure of cinema theatres, gymnasiums and swimming pools. The government had earlier classified Thiruvananthapuram, which reported a spurt in COVID-19 cases, as Category-C.

As per government figures, the districts had reported a 20 per cent and above increase in COVID-19 patients. Hospitalisations had gone up. Idukki was particularly vulnerable given the relatively low number of hospitals and COVID-19 beds.

An official said the restrictions would perhaps help the administration stem the tide of infections to some measure to prevent the raging pandemic from overwhelming the State’s finite health infrastructure.

Category-B districts

The meeting rated Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad and Kannur district as Category B (Threshold-2). Malappuram and Kozhikode are in Category A (Threshold-1).

So far the government has not accorded any rating to Kasargode, where the virus spread appeared within the safety threshold.

COVID-19 War Room

The administration has opened a COVID-19 “War Room” at the Government Secretariat. The “war room” would monitor, in real-time, the availability of COVID-19 beds, ICU beds, ventilators and supplementary medical oxygen cylinders.

Mr. Vijayan told the meeting to anticipate a surge in hospital administrations. He ordered the opening of more first-line treatment centres.

Ward committees

Local self-government should form committees at the ward level to monitor the pandemic situation. If required, they should open community kitchens. He also asked private and public sector hospitals to assign special kiosks for COVID-19 positive dialysis patients.


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 21, 2022 11:32:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/covid-19-surge-idukki-pathanamthitta-kottayam-and-kollam-under-clamp-down/article38333029.ece