Kerala

Kerala police step up enforcement of pandemic control measures

Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner Balaram Kumar Upadhyaya called on the office of the District Medical Officer in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday to analyse the current disease spread pattern in the district.

Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner Balaram Kumar Upadhyaya called on the office of the District Medical Officer in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday to analyse the current disease spread pattern in the district.  

The Kerala police on Tuesday fanned out across densely populated localities in the State to enforce compliance with the government directive making the wearing of masks in public places and ensuring physical distance compulsory.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Monday given the law enforcement extensive powers to impose the social code designed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

He had empowered the police to impose fines and, if need be, arrest persons who violated the provisions of the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020.

(In Attingal near here, the police invoked the provisions of the ordinance against Bharathiya Janata Party legislator, O. Rajagopal, for organising a protest in front of the local village office. They also invoked the law against a set of traders in Chalai who staged a protest demanding that the authorities allow retail trade at the earliest. The BJP has supported their demand.)

The enforcement drive appeared focussed on large community cluster zones in coastal localities and urban residential colonies. The police erected barricades on roads connecting the hotspots with the rest of the district and checked vehicles entering and leaving the outlying buffer zones.

In a directive to district police chiefs late Monday, State Police Chief Loknath Behera ordered strict enforcement of curfew and lockdown norms in containment zones. However, officers should make allowance for home delivery of essential items.

Motorcycle patrols scoured coastal localities in Thiruvananthapuram, and the police also carried out aerial surveillance with the help of remote-controlled drones.

The SPC asked the police to call on people under quarantine and ring them up on their mobile phone numbers to check their location and welfare.

The police also set up checkpoints on important roads across the State to prevent overloading of passengers in vehicles and ensure compliance with the COVID-19 protocol.

The police also specially focussed on harbours, bus stands, vegetable markets, fish markets and hospitals to prevent overcrowding. They also called on houses where marriages, weddings, funerals or other socials were scheduled to be held.

Officers also checked on customers at supermarkets and malls.

The police have set up a small team of officers in station houses to track infections, trace primary and secondary contacts of patients and help map the spread of the disease to help the authorities redraw the borders of containment zones, if necessary.

Cyber police officers would track the cell phone locations of people under quarantine and also those who had interacted with them closely,

The government has tasked a committee headed by the District Police Chief, District Collector and District to decide, demarcate, notify and de-notify containment zones as required and after analysing the pattern of the spread of the virus in their respective jurisdictions.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 6:23:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-police-step-up-enforcement-of-pandemic-control-measures/article32266678.ece

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