Kerala imposes 2-day complete lockdown before easing curbs for Bakrid
In a worrying development, the Kerala government has decided to ease several curbs on July 19 and 20 for the occasion of Eid al-Adha, which will be celebrated either on July 20 or 21. The state government has also imposed a complete lockdown for two days, until Monday morning, before the said relaxations come into force. Here are more details on this.
All shops and banks closed on Saturday and Sunday
All establishments, including banks and other financial institutions, have been ordered to remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. "There will be a complete lockdown on 17th and 18th July 2021 with the same guidelines as issued for 12th and 13th June 2021 (sic)," according to the Kerala government. After these two days, several restrictions will be eased in most areas.
Which restrictions will be eased?
Besides shops selling essential items, the government has granted permission to open textile shops, footwear shops, electronics shops, and jewelry shops until 8 pm on the said days, the Kerala Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. These relaxations are applicable in areas that come under A, B, and C categories - implying all such areas where the test positivity rate is not more than 18%.
Kerala reports most number of daily COVID-19 cases
The relaxations have been announced even as Kerala has been reporting the most number of daily coronavirus cases in India, of all the states. On Friday, the state added 13,750 new COVID-19 cases and 130 related deaths. Kerala has partially vaccinated 1.17 crore people so far while 44.18 lakh have been inoculated with both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kerala CM Vijayan briefed PM on the COVID-19 situation
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the southern state's coronavirus situation. "The second wave started in Kerala later than other regions. Kerala has tried to contain the spread of the disease in such a way that the COVID-19 peak can be delayed so that the health sector could accommodate all health requirements and succeeded in it," he said.
Vijayan urged PM to send more vaccines
Vijayan has also urged PM Modi to send more vaccines to boost up vaccinations in the state. "Kerala has asked for 60 lakh doses of the vaccine to be made available in July and August to avoid vaccine shortages," he told the media yesterday.
IMA criticized Kerala's lockdown measures, called for amends
Recently, the Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had criticized the state's lockdown restrictions, calling them "unscientific" and "ineffective." In a letter sent to CM Vijayan, the IMA called for revised protocols over testing, tracing, and isolation of coronavirus patients. The medical body has also suggested the government to make significant changes to its vaccination policy.
Supreme Court slams UP for allowing Kanwar Yatra
On a related note, the Supreme Court of India had recently slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for allowing the Kanwar Yatra to take place, asking it to reconsider the decision. "The health of citizenry of India and right to life is paramount," the court said.