Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Photo credit: ANI

After seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, the government of Kerala on Tuesday announced certain relaxations which will be coming in effect from June 17. As per the new orders, government offices will not be allowed to function with 25% employees. While, public transport shall be allowed operate partially and shops selling essentials will be allowed to open on all days.

The chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan further in the order stated that bars shall also be allowed to remain open. However, complete lockdown shall continue across the state on weekends.

To be noted, relaxation in lockdown will be allowed only on basis of test positivity rate under local self-govt bodies. Local bodies with below 8% test positivity rate will be allowed to function normally with restrictions but shops will be allowed to operate.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala had announced stringent measures for June 12-13, in addition to the existing lockdown guidelines which are in place till June 16.

The additional measures, imposed over the weekend have barred takeaway parcels from restaurants, even though home delivery is permitted. Construction activities have been allowed following strict COVID-19 norms. Mobile and electronic repair shops were allowed to open on Friday.

Amid lockdown, Sunday prayers have been reduced to a few churches in Kottayam, while other churches remain closed. As public gatherings is not allowed in the wake of COVID-19 protocols, many churches remained closed. Almost five weeks into lockdown, Kerala seems to have entered the plateau phase again in Covid-19 cases.

With the Covid test positivity rate (TPR) falling to 11 percent and antipathy towards disruptions to normal life growing in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday had said that from Thursday onwards, there would be a change in strategy on the lockdown norms.

On Monday, 7,719 new cases were registered from 68,573 samples tested in the past 24 hours, while the total active cases were 1,13,817.

"The day saw 16,743 people turn negative, taking the total cured in the state to 26,10,368. There were 161 Covid deaths taking the death tally to 11,342," he said.

On the vaccination front, Vijayan said so far 1.12 crores vaccines have been received in the state, which includes 98.53 lakhs from the Centre and four lakhs procured by the state.

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Free Press Journal