Kerala

Coronavirus | Nine-day lockdown brings life to standstill in Kerala

Domestic animals cross the road fearlessly along the Beemapally road following the lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The State went into a nine-day lockdown from Saturday bringing normal life to a near standstill, even as the government appealed to the people to remain indoors and avoid unnecessary travel to curb disease transmission during the second wave of COVID-19.

Before the lockdown commenced at 6 a.m., the police personnel were deployed in strength to enforce the restrictions. Vehicles and travellers were screened at checkpoints on the inter-State and inter-district borders, gateways to cities and important junctions.

Transport services

The entire fleet of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), except for hospital services, and the 15,000-odd private stage carriers remained off the road. Autorickshaws and taxis were barred from plying. Train services and flights were operational, but patronage was very low. All classes of motor vehicles transporting goods moved as usual as they were exempted from the lockdown.

Places of worship opened but devotees were barred from entering and worshipping. Streets were deserted and only those going to airports, railway stations and for other emergencies stepped out of home.

The KSRTC operated 54 schedules to Medical College Hospitals and important hospitals for the hospital employees. These services will continue from 6.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. on all days, according to the KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director. Of the 54 services, 17 are in Thiruvananthapuram zone, 30 in Ernakulam zone and seven in Kozhikode zone.

Shops selling essential commodities and medical shops remained open. While dining is prohibited, restaurants have been allowed to operate take-aways/ parcel services from 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Senior police officials and District Police Chiefs personally supervised the enforcement of the restrictions. At many places, the police were seen counselling people who ventured out unnecessarily. They were also asked to produce identity cards and documents to support their claims.

The police launched round the clock helpline 112 to help the citizens to purchase emergency medicines. Besides the highway patrols and police patrol teams, the Fire and Rescue Services vehicles are being used for door delivery of medicines.

5,961 cases registered

In all, 5,961 cases were registered and 1,405 people arrested for violating the pandemic protocols on Saturday, the police said. As many as 613 vehicles were also seized in connection with the violations. Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts accounted for the majority of the cases and arrests. The police have booked cases against 24 people for breaching quarantine norms.

The online facility for applying for passes for essential travel, issued by the police, is in place. Given the COVID-19 scenario in most of the districts, the government has decided to discourage inter-district travel, except in emergencies.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 10:27:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nine-day-lockdown-brings-life-to-standstill/article34516102.ece

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