Severe restrictions from May 4 to May 9

Chief Minister says COVID-19 situation has worsened

The government will further tighten the screws on civic activity from May 4 to May 9 to bridle the surge in COVID-19 infections.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the public could expect intense lockdown-like restraints on daily life and movement during these days. “The checks will be akin to those now observed in the weekend. The 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will continue,” Mr. Vijayan said.

Shops selling food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products and meat and fish stalls could open. So could hotels. However, the State has banned indoor dining. The emphasis was on home delivery and takeaway.

Markets could open for business. However, market committees should ensure that vendors maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meter from each other. They should wear masks and gloves mandatorily.

Cinema and television serial companies should wind up production for now. Banks should close at 2 p.m. Bank authorities should not transfer employees, task them to canvass customers or set business targets for workers till the pandemic abated.

The State aimed to do without activities that would necessitate people to gather. Mr. Vijayan urged the public to postpone celebratory events, suspend non-essential travel and wear two masks in public.

People should remain indoors on vote counting day on May 2. The government has banned public jubilation. The epidemic situation in Kerala had worsened. “Citizens should go into self lockdown. They should sequester themselves indoors and venture out only for emergencies,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said mutant strains of COVID-19 had accelerated the transmission of the disease. Some variants could linger in the air for a relatively extended period. They could also infiltrate human cells rapidly.

The State police would raise a neighbourhood volunteer force to help them. They would train neighbourhood watch, Jana Maithri, members and give them identification armbands.

Travellers required COVID-19 negative certificates to enter Kerala from Karnataka via road.

The police would pilot vehicles carrying essential medical supplies and supplemental oxygen for rapid delivery to critical care centres. The District Magistrate should ensure the free vaccination and welfare of guest workers.

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