2 min read
. Updated: 05 Jul 2020, 09:52 PM IST
- The lockdown will remain in force from Monday 6 am for a week
- All medical shops and shops selling essential items will remain open. Major roads leading to the city will remain closed. Secretariat will not function
Ernakulam: Kerala has announced a week-long stringent lockdown in its capital city, Thiruvananthapuram, starting Monday.
The shutdown comes after the capital recorded 22 of the 38 Covid-19 patients who were infected through local transmission in the state on Sunday. The state has been seeing a surge in coronavirus cases through unknown sources of infections, threatening community transmission, especially in the capital.
All roads, except for an entry and exit road, leading to the capital will be shut, said city officials. Grocery stores, banks, medical stores, hospitals and other essential services, will be allowed. But all other non-essential services will be shut.
All public transport will be shut in the city. The state’s official headquarters, called Secretariat, will also be shut. A security guard at the Secretariat had recently tested positive without any known exposure to existing covid-19 patients or travel history.
The shutdown will be a triple lockdown, said the government in a statement. The Lock-I will restrict movement of all people in the district. The Lock-II will be enforced in hotspots of infection, where people will be mandatorily asked to stay-at-home. And the Lock-III will be enforced in the houses of primary and secondary contacts of covid-19 patients to be in compulsory room-quarantine.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is having an urgent meeting with senior officials, including state police chief Loknath Behra and the chief secretary Vishwas Mehta, at his official residence, currently.
Only one grocery store will be allowed to open in an area and the police will help the public in home delivery of essential services, the government said.
“Thiruvananthapuram is sitting on the top of a volcano just about to explode,” said Kadakampally Surendran, the state minister for tourism and the city-in charge on covid-19 task force. “We are seeing a surge in cases infected from local contacts and if we don’t apply vigil, things might go out of control. People should avoid unnecessary travel, gatherings, and use masks,” Thiruvananthapuram mayor K. Sreekumar told reporters that “the situation is getting serious”.
Kerala has been able to weather a recent surge in cases while keeping deaths to a minimum, allowing it to give a number of relaxations to the public. But as cases have shown a resurgence, especially from undetectable sources of infection, the leaders have been rethinking their hands-off approach.
On Sunday, the state reported 225 new infections, a little less than the state’s single-day record of 240 cases noted a day ago. Most of it were expats returning from foreign countries or other Indian states. The state has 2,228 active cases so far.
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