CM Pinarayi Vijayan
CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has indicated that it will not implement the central directive to declare complete lock-down in seven districts as part of a group of 75 districts countrywide that the central health authorities want completely closed down.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who skipped his customary evening press briefing in view off the ‘Janata Curfew’, clarified in a social media post. He said that the state government would review the recommendation in more details on Monday before implementing it.

The chief minister said that already stringent restrictions are in force in all the districts of the state, including prohibitory orders, banning the assembly of people. Public transport will remain restricted to travel between adjacent districts, while all long distance services will be cancelled. All train and airline services are already cancelled as part of a central government decision.

But Kasargod district, where new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported, a complete lock-down is in force, with only essential services permitted. Shops are allowed only between 11am and 5pm under strict supervision of police and administration officials. The police has registered a case against the man who interacted with a large number of people, compromising the government’s drive to contain the spread of the disease.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekhar that all arrangements would be made to ensure essential supplies and there is no reason for people to worry about shortages. Supermarkets will be allowed to remain open on the condition that not more than five shoppers were allowed at any given time.

The government appears to be alarmed at the consistent increase in the number of confirmed cases. 15 new cases were reported on Sunday, five of them in Kasargod. Kannur registered four cases while Malappuram and Kozhikkode added two each. With these, the total number of coronavirus affected patients has gone up to 64. Most of the new cases are of people coming from abroad.

Over 59,000 people are under observation in their homes and 314 people are in isolation in various hospitals. Over 9,700 of those under isolation were released on Sunday as they tested negative consistently.

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Free Press Journal