Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has issued a slew of measures to curb the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
In less than 10 days, the test positivity rate in the state (the number of people likely infected when 100 are tested) has risen from less than 4 to over 13.
On Thursday, the state recorded 8,126 new COVID cases after 60,900 tests. In the last four days, the number of active cases has doubled with the addition of over 30,000 new cases.
The new measures are part of an effort to check the COVID spread within a span of just two months. Kerala government has employed a three-prong approach to accomplish this - extensive testing, strict control and intensive vaccination.
While the State has dismissed the likelihood of another total lockdown, curfews will be imposed if the test positivity rate continues to rise. The new measures are applicable till April 30.
The new restrictions introduced are as follows:
• The number of people allowed at functions has been slashed. Indoor events - 75, outdoor events - 150.
• Only those people whose RT-PCR and RT-LAMP* test are taken within the last 72 hours will be allowed beyond the permitted number at functions.
• Functions cannot exceed longer than two hours.
• The above restrictions and conditions would be applicable to weddings, sports-arts-cultural events, and festivals.
• No feasts at public functions. Packed meals can be distributed instead.
• Notify local admins about forthcoming functions - weddings, house warming etc.
• Restaurants, bars and shops will shut by 9 pm. Door delivery is encouraged wherever possible.
• Restaurants should operate at only 50 per cent of their seating capacity.
• Hotels and restaurants should have facilities to provide food parcels or home delivery.
• In local body units where the test positivity rate is high, the district collectors have been directed to impose curfew (Section 144).
• Standing passengers will not be allowed in public transport buses. No passenger shall be allowed beyond the seating capacity.
• Checks will be held to prevent crowding on buses and trains.
• COVID negative certificate must to enter malls, markets
• Only 50 per cent of seats can be occupied at theatres.
• Emergency services, examinations will not be hindered.
• Nod for fireworks at Thrissur pooram; However, COVID certificate must
• Meetings must be held online as far as possible.
• All mega sales and shopping festivals stand postponed for two weeks or until the COVID-19 situation improves.
• All those who are coming from other states should register on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal.
• The police and sectoral magistrates should monitor places where people assemble in large numbers.
• More doctors will be included in the tele-doctor service, e-Sanjeevani.
• Civil Supplies, horticorp, poultry corporation, Matsyafed, and MILMA should develop an integrated online system for home delivery of items.
• Religious leaders and district authorities may be persuaded to avoid community gatherings (iftar parties)
• The restrictions announced are applicable till April 30.
(*RT-LAMP is a superior lab technique now available in India. RT-LAMP denotes Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification.)