COVID-19 crisis: Kerala under complete lockdown for nine days
Shutting shops, suspending public vehicle transport, and strictly restricting the on-road movement of people, Kerala came under complete lockdown from Saturday morning to contain the massive spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The restrictions came into force by 6 am and would be extended up to May 16 midnight," the official sources said. Here are more details.
Weekend restrictions, lockdown-like curbs failed to contain spread
The state government has decided to impose a nine-day complete shutdown as the weekend restrictions and lockdown-like curbs imposed earlier failed to create any desired impact in terms of the daily caseload of the infected persons. The number of daily COVID-19 infection cases had crossed the 42,000 mark earlier this week but registered a slight dip on Friday (38,460 cases) in this southern state.
Kerala has recorded 18,24,856 COVID-19 cases
On Friday, Kerala, which is the third worst-hit state after Maharashtra and Karnataka, has so far recorded a total of 18,24,856 COVID-19 cases. The state has so far reported 5,682 COVID-19 deaths and 14,16,177 COVID-19 recoveries.
25,000 police personnel deployed to ensure adherence to guidelines
As lockdown is in place, only essential services are exempted and people are strictly warned against coming out in public places or travel unnecessarily. Police intensified patrolling in every nook and cranny of the state since morning to ensure that nobody is venturing out without any valid reason. Around 25,000 police personnel have been deployed across the state to ensure adherence to guidelines.
Fine being imposed, vehicles being seized from violators
The police personnel could be seen stopping every single vehicle including two-wheelers and asking the riders about the purpose of their travel and seeking to show their identity cards. Fine is being imposed and vehicles are being seized from individuals who violate the restrictions.
Borders under strict surveillance, online pass system to start
According to police, "An online pass system would come into force by this evening for those who have to go out for urgent needs. With this, people can travel for emergency purposes by obtaining a pass from the police." "All borders are under strict police surveillance and only freight vehicles and those having permission from the authorities are permitted through check- posts," police added.
Banks, financial institutions to function only on alternate days
As per the official guidelines, banks, insurance, financial services, capital, and debt market services as notified by SEBI and cooperative credit societies shall function only on alternate days during lockdown-Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. "Anyone violating the lockdown guidelines would invite punishment under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act-2005, Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance-2021, and other relevant laws in force," the police said.
Over 35 trains have been canceled across the state
Railway sources said that over 35 trains--long-distance and intra-state, have been canceled in Kerala. It was not directly due to lockdown but because of poor occupancy in the wake of the COVID-19 spread. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday sought the cooperation of the people during the lockdown and said stringent measures were for their welfare and urged them to avoid inter-district travel.
Election rallies, CSI event led to a surge in cases
Reportedly, coronavirus guidelines were flouted during the rallies for the recent assembly elections. Additionally, the retreat organized by the CSI priests in Munnar, in which over 100 priests were tested COVID-19 positive, has also added to the burden of active coronavirus cases across the state.