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Kerala under complete weekend lockdown, Covid-19 curbs reinforced

The Kerala government said that the weekend lockdown on July 24 (Saturday) and July 25 (Sunday) will be under the same guidelines issued during the earlier phase of lockdowns on weekends.
Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 24, 2021 07:21 AM IST
FILE PHOTO: People wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) queue up maintaining physical distance to buy liquor in Kochi, Kerala, on Friday, July 23, 2021. (R S Iyer / AP)

Kerala is under a complete weekend lockdown for the entire duration of Saturday and Sunday in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in the state. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Friday that pandemic-related restrictions are being reinforced in Kerala due to an increase in the test positivity rates (TPR) over the last few days. A 'micro-containment system' will also be introduced, Vijayan said, directing the officials to keep up contact tracing and testing along with the vaccination.

"There will be no relaxations in the curbs as of now," the chief minister of Kerala said in an official press release earlier this week. "The TPR is high in the Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Kasaragod districts. The district administrations should effectively interfere to control the positivity rate."

Weekend lockdown: What remains open in Kerala?

Under the reinforced Covid-19 lockdown curbs in Kerala, government offices (both central and state) have been asked to function with up to 50 per cent of staff in Category A and B local bodies, and with up to 25 per cent staff in Category C areas.

Only essential services have been allowed to operate in Category D areas.

"The remaining 50% staff in A and B places and 75% in C, and officers from all sectors should be involved in Covid-19 prevention activities," chief minister Vijayan said on Friday while briefing the media. "Since only essential services operate in the D category, the vast majority of employees will be part of the preventive measures."

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The Kerala government said that the weekend lockdown on July 24 (Saturday) and July 25 (Sunday) will be under the same guidelines issued during the earlier phase of lockdowns on weekends.

Micro-containment and vaccination

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that a micro-containment system is being introduced in the state. Local self-government institution (LSGI) categorisation will be carried out on the basis of the seven-day average TPR, while the curbs will be applied according to the existing categorisation in the state.

Vijayan said that Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Kerala is progressing well. "So far, 1,77,09,529 people have been vaccinated," the chief minister said on Friday. "Of these, 1,24,64,589 received a single dose of vaccine, and 52,44,940 have received both doses."

Stressing that the state government is trying to give at least one dose of vaccination to everyone as soon as possible, Vijayan asked every citizen to be careful to avoid small and large crowded situations where there is a risk of rapid spread due to the presence of Delta variant of the coronavirus.

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