Kerala CM Vijayan, ministers remain in quarantine
At many district headquarters, ceremonies were held with strict containment measures and a limited guest list. At several places, only the state government officials and police personnel, attended the events.Updated: Aug 16, 2020 01:24 IST
Kerala observed a low-key Independence Day on Saturday, with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and seven other ministers in quarantine over fears of the coronavirus disease.
In a first, collectors in some of the districts in the state unfurled the national flag to mark the occasion.
At many district headquarters, ceremonies were held with strict containment measures and a limited guest list. At several places, only the state government officials and police personnel, attended the events.
In state capital Thiruvananthapuram, tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran hoisted the national flag in the absence of the chief minister.
“Pandemic situation has thrown many challenges before the country. We will overcome this with unity and hard work. In such trying situations we have to ensure that people won’t starve. The state government has taken enough measures to check this and it has become a model for others,” the CM said in a Facebook post to greet the people on the occasion.
Vijayan and seven of his cabinet colleagues have been under quarantine after they came in contact with district officers, involved in the rescue operations at the Air India Express plane crash site, who tested positive for Covid-19.
Malappuram district collector K Gopalakrishnan, SP Abdul Kareem and many senior officers tested positive on Friday, a week after they took part in rescue operations.
The Dubai-Kozhikode repatriation flight overshot the runway and crash landed, claiming 18 lives, on August 7.
While Governor Arif Mohammad Khan also visited Kozhikkode last Saturday, he did not go under quarantine and hoisted the national flag at Raj Bhawan. In a statement, the Raj Bhawan said that his interaction with the infected officials was minimum.
Meanwhile, the state government lifted the lockdown imposed to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in Thiruvananthapuram after 39 days. The restrictions will continue in containment zones. At least one-third of the state’s total active cases (14,094) are from the state capital.