Lockdown extended by a week in Lakshadweep

2,006 active COVID-19 cases reported as on May 30

The Lakshadweep administration on Monday extended by one more week, the total lockdown on Kavaratti, Androth, Kalpeni, Amini and Minicoy islands which together had 2,006 active COVID-19 cases as on May 30.

Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Kadmath and Agatti islands will have night curfew between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. A few essential services have been exempted from the lockdown.

The administration also deputed senior officials to eight islands for “COVID management, documentation work for claiming relief under the SDRF norms, implementation of schemes and development works happening in these islands, cleanliness and interaction with local representatives, village and district panchayat members and brief them about the priorities and objectives of the administration for bringing more development in these islands (sic)”.

Meanwhile, more village panchayats passed resolutions decrying the ‘reforms’ being pushed by the administration. Islanders also see the extension of lockdown as a means to prevent protests.

“The administration is just trying to put the islanders to untold misery. While RT-PCR has been made mandatory for inter-island travel, there is no facility to get it done in most islands. And, if a sample is given, it takes anywhere from three days to more than a week to get the result. It is a joke. Life has been miserable for some two months. There is no free ration or unemployement compensation, and this extension is heaping more misery on the people,” said an islander on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Kerala MPs who sought to visit the islands said they were denied permission.

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