Kerala extends lockdown till May 23

The seemingly relentless and worrying rise in COVID-19 infections in the State has prompted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday to extend the State-wide lockdown until May 23.

He said the clampdown on life, mobility, socialising, production and retail business would be three-fold restrictive in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Malappuram.

The localities were witnessing an unacceptably high level of disease transmission. People have to remain sequestered indoors and venture out only to buy victuals or medicines from neighbourhood shops.

The government was constrained to curb civic life rigorously to limit deaths and hospitalisations, he said.

Mr. Vijayan said Kerala’s weather had changed for the worse given the impending cyclone. The rain could accelerate the spread of the pestilence. Mosquito-borne fevers and monsoon diseases could complicate the already fraught pandemic situation.

The Chief Minister said the government resources were already stretched to the limit, fighting the pandemic. Rural areas have also recorded a sharp increase in infections.

An extension of the lockdown was the only recourse open to the government. The month of May was crucial in the fight against the pandemic. It was too early to quantify the effect of the close down on curbing COVID-19, he said.

The government would spare no effort in flattening the rising curve of infections. Mr. Vijayan urged people to prevent stagnant water from turning into mosquito hatcheries in their neighbourhoods.

The lockdown would affect livelihoods. The administration would distribute free food kits to the entire population, including migrant workers, to ensure none starved. Community kitchens and fair price hotels would also cater to needy citizens. The government would support Anganwadi teachers and Kudumbashree units.

The government extended the last date for remitting land and tourism tax and fee for various licences. It has tasked the police to enforce the lockdown strictly. Law enforcers would track the mobile phone of persons under quarantine.

Motorcycle patrols would scour neighbourhoods to detect pandemic code violations. The police on Thursday booked 27 persons for breaking quarantine.

It booked 9,114 persons for not wearing masks and 4,791 for violating the physical distance rule. The police collected ₹33,30,250 as a fine from the violators.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 12:41:13 AM |

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