COVID-19 LDF govt in Kerala to crackdown on those not following health protocol

Thiruvananthapuram,Sep 28 (PTI) With COVID-19 cases
witnessinga spike in Kerala over the past few weeks, the Left
government has decided to impose strict restrictions on
gatherings besides taking action against shop owners who fail
to implement the health protocol, including socialdistancing.
     After reporting over 7,000 fresh COVID-19 cases for
two consecutive days, Kerala on Monday reported 4,538 new
positive cases taking the infection count in the state to
1,78,922 andcurrently, there are 57,879 patients under
treatment in the state.
     "COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in our State and we
had a record increase in the number of new cases in the last
week.The situation is serious as the positive cases in the
state are seen doubling on an average of every 20 days.
     We have held a high-level meeting of officials today
to discuss the situation," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
told the media here.
     He said strict action will be taken against those
not following social distancing.
     "Wearing masks is mandatory and those who dont
wear masks in public will be strictly penalised.
     Shop owners will have to ensure they comply with the
COVID-19 health protocol and action will be taken against shop
owners also if norms are violated.
     The restrictions of 50 people for marriage functions
and 20 for funerals should be strictly followed," the chief
minister said.
     Vijayan also said gazetted officers in government
service will be assigned with special powers to help in
supervising Covid related work in all local bodies.
     "An all-party meeting will be held tomorrow to
discuss the current situation in the State, and also to
request their cooperation and support in containing the
     I cannot predict the outcome of tomorrow's meeting
today," Vijayan said when asked whether a lockdown will be
imposed in the state.
Further decisions on curbs will be taken after the
meeting, he added.
On Sunday, health minister K K Shailaja had said it
would be difficult for the state to impose a complete shutdown
in the state as it will affect the livelihood of the people.
She, however, said "if the situation becomes worse
like thatof the USA or Brazil, and thousands lose their life,
then we will haveno other option."
The minister also warned youngsters to be more
careful as 28 per cent of deaths reported in the state was
under60 years.
     Vijayan today said the case per million in Kerala
has gone up to 5,143 whereas the national average is 5,852.
     "However, we have managed to controlthe case
fatality rate in the state.The national average is 1.6 per
cent but in Kerala it's 0.4 per cent.This is because of the
better healthcare facility and care in the state.
     As the number of cases are increasing, the fatalities
are also rising.In order to control the number of deaths, we
need to control the spread of the virus," Vijayan said.
     The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front
on Monday declared that owing to the rise in the number of
COVID-19 cases in the state, it has halted mass protests,
which Kerala has been witnessing for the past few weeks,
against the Left government.
     The chief minister had earlier lashed out at the
Opposition for organising "irresponsible" protests
violating all COVID-19 health protocol.PTI RRT BN

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)