Malappuram: Areas in the jurisdiction of Ponnani taluk in Kerala's Malappuram district have been brought under triple lockdown as it is feared community transmission of COVID-19 has occurred here.
The triple lockdown, a mode of COVID-19 containment measure, will be in force from Monday to July 6.
Accordingly, the restrictions imposed under general lockdown in the area will be made more stringent and several relaxations annulled and the area as a whole deemed as a containment zone.
The decision comes in the wake of an increase in the number of cases without known sources of infection.
The health department had decided to test 1,500 people in the Ponnai taluk to study if the region has reached the community transmission stage.
In Edapal in Malappuram, it is estimated that over 20,000 people must have come in contact with the five health workers, including two doctors, who tested positive on Sunday.
Following this, the district administration had suggested to the state government to make all the panchayats in Ponnani taluk and the whole of Ponnani municipality as containment zones. Currently, only four panchayats and 47 wards in the municipality have been declared as containment zones.
The health department will begin random sampling of people in the area from Tuesday. Those who came in contact with COVID patients, health workers, shopkeepers and businessmen, police employees, ASHA workers and those aged above 60 will be among the 1,500 people who will be tested as part of the random sampling drive.
Pallickathodu lockdown for two days
A two-day complete lockdown will be enforced in the Pallickathodu panchayat in Kottayam after four members of an infected nurse's family tested positive for COVID-19. The panchayat will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The infected are the nurse of a private hospital in Ponnkunam, her husband (37), her two daughters, aged six and three, and her mother-in-law.
The nurse was tested positive on June 26 and was undergoing treatment when her kin too were found positive for coronavirus.