Coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram district will come under complete lockdown for 10 days starting Saturday midnight as the state government is enforcing strict measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in those areas.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the measure at his sunset press briefing, reiterating that community transmission of the virus has begun in two coastal regions – Poonthura and Pulluvila – in the southern district.
Thiruvananthapuram reported 173 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the tally of active cases to 1,685. Of the 173 cases, 152 contracted the virus through contact with source of infection remaining unidentified in four cases.
The chief minister said the rising number of contact cases in areas like Statue, Petta, Attakulanagara, Peroorkada, and Kudapanakunnu is a matter of concern.
Detailing the measures to be taken in coastal areas, the chief minister said the regions will be designated into three zones.
Zone 1: Coastal areas in Edava, Ottoor, Anchuthengu, Kadakkavoor, Vakkom and Varkala municipality
Zone 2: Chirayinkeezhu, Kadinamkulam, Thiruvananthapuram corporation
Zone 3: Kottukal, Karimkulam, Poovar, Kulathoor
Three IAS officers functioning as 'Incident Commanders' who will oversee implementation of zone-wise cluster containment and intervention strategies.
The district's coastal area stretching from Edava in the north to Pozhiyoor in the south has been declared as Critical Containment Zone (CCZ) and will be under complete and strict lockdown from Saturday midnight to July 28 midnight, an order from the district Collector Navjot Khosa said.
The district administration has decided that it was "high time" to take stringent action and impose triple lockdown to contain the spread of the virus by imposing a total movement restriction in the critically infected areas.
The existing lockdown relaxations shall not be applied and strict lockdown measures shall be in force for a 10-day period, the order stated.
Over 1,515 live cases are being treated in various hospitals in the district as on date and epidemiological investigation has been carried out in each and every case and their primary and secondary contacts have been traced for effective containment of the disease's further transmission, she said.
Movement of people within or out of these zones would not be allowed and the police should strictly enforce this, the collector stated.
A toll-free number would be provided to the people to raise their grievances.
The Civil Supplies department has been directed to provide 5 kg rice and one kg of pulses to all families in the CCZs, while Horticorp will ensure regular supply of fruits and vegetables in these areas and Milma's dairy plant in Thiruvananthapuram will ensure supply of milk at selected checkposts from where it would be lifted by agents for sales within the containment zones.
No bank or NBFC will function in Critical Containment Zone. However, banks should ensure that ATMs are refilled.
(With inputs from PTI)