Kerala

Strict curbs on public life in Pathanamthitta

Amidst a steady rise in fresh COVID-19 cases coupled with an acute shortage of vaccines, the authorities have imposed a new set of rules that stipulate stricter regulations on public life in Pathanamthitta.

According to A.L. Sheeja, District Medical Officer (DMO), the number of patients suffering from serious complications in connection with the virus infection was doubling with each passing day. “While the total test positivity for the district was below 9%, it has crossed 15% in some panchayats. With a TPR of 41.08%, Anikkad panchayat leads the tally, followed by Mallappally with 29.64%,” she said.

Adding to the concerns, the district is also experiencing a severe vaccine shortage with the vaccination programme in at least three locations facing disruptions during the day. “We are expected to receive a fresh stock of 5,000 doses by Monday midnight, which will be adequate for the vaccination requirement the next day,” the DMO added.

Taking note of the rising cases, District Collector Narasimhugari Tej Lohit Reddy, by invoking provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005, has sought advance registration of all public events with the COVID-19 Jagratha portal. The participation in outdoor events has been limited to 150 persons while that of indoor events to 75 persons.

Travel restrictions

Meanwhile, people in containment zones will be permitted to venture out of their homes only for the purchase of essential items and as part of their job requirements while those aged above 60 and aged under 10 are barred from travelling, except in case of medical purposes.

A blanket ban on the functioning of air-conditioners has been imposed on all offices, including banks, in such locations. Stern action will be initiated against commercial establishments that violate the COVID-19 guidelines while shops are also required to put markings at a distance of 150 cm each to ensure physical distancing between customers.

The number of participants in events such as marriages or funeral services is limited to 20. If cases continue to rise in containment zones, steps will be initiated for declaring IPC 144 and stern action will be initiated against those violating the curfew.

The district police, meanwhile, has deployed a special team of 750 officers led by an Additional Superintendent of Police for pandemic duty. Besides physical inspections, surveillance using drones will be strengthened in all public places.

Fresh cases

As per estimates, the district on Monday reported 390 cases while five persons, including a 37-year-old, died of pandemic-related complications. With 37 cases, Thiruvalla had the highest number of cases, followed by Pathanamthitta with 33 cases.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 2:50:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/strict-curbs-on-public-life-in-pathanamthitta/article34362425.ece

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