Kerala govt says stringent lockdown measures needed in areas with critical Covid-19 spread
The Kerala government on Sunday said that it would implement intensified and stringent lockdown in areas in the state where the spread of Covid-19 is at critical levels.
In areas where the weekly infection population ratio (WIPR) is above 10, the stringent lockdown restrictions would be enforced, news agency PTI reported citing an order from the state chief secretary VP Joy. Further, the order said that the affected areas would be notified on a weekly basis by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). Also, the list of such affected areas would be publicised through websites and other media.
The district collectors shall also notify micro-containment zones according to existing guidelines and enforce the lockdown restrictions within such areas, the order said. The announcement came within two weeks of the withdrawal of the night curfew and the complete lockdown on Sundays in the state. Earlier on September 7, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, following a Covid-19 review meeting, revoked the measures in the state after the weekly test positivity rate fell to 17.91%.
The announcement also gains significance as the state is currently preparing plans to reopen higher education institutions from October 4 and schools from November 1. State education minister V Sivakutty, earlier in the day, said that the government is in the process of preparing a plan for the reopening of schools and would submit the same to CM Vijayan before October 15. Also, the state government has mandated at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for students returning to the higher education institutes on October 4.
Meanwhile, the state has spelt out its plans to inoculate all adults (people above 18 years of age) with at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of September.
The daily new infections have been witnessing a decrease for the past few days in the state and on Sunday, 19,653 more people tested positive for the disease while 152 more lost their lives. So far, 4,508,466 people have been infected with the virus and the death toll was recorded at 23,591, a bulletin from the state government showed.