Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to impose severe restrictions on civic activities from May 4 to 9 to curtail the surge in COVID-19 cases.
In view of the unabated surge in COVID 19 cases and the high test positivity rate across the State leading to the faster spread of disease in the community, there is an emergent need to curtail activities and movement to the bare minimum in offices and establishments,” an order from the Disaster Management department said.
With certain exceptions, the government has said that offices need to function with a maximum of 25 per cent staff.
The restrictions would be similar to the mini-lockdown that was earlier imposed on Saturday and Sunday. Those violating the norms would be charged under the Disaster Management Act, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Thursday.
The daily COVID-19 caseload in the State has been on an upswing, with Monday reporting 26,011 new cases. The test positivity rate was 27.01 per cent.
Cinema, TV serial and documentary shootings have been temporarily prohibited.
Restrictions in a nutshell
• No one will be allowed to step out unnecessarily. Crowding will not be allowed in closed spaces.
• Unnecessary travel won’t be allowed.
• Autorickshaws, taxis and cargo vehicles can ply in unavoidable situations. Police will check such vehicles.
• Individuals will be permitted to visit hospitals and health centres. Home nurses caring for the elderly will be permitted to commute
• All central government, State government (including PSUs) and private offices shall work only with a maximum of 25 per cent staff strength. (departments and agencies given exception mentioned below)
• The rest of the government/private staff shall work from home or be utilised by respective district collectors for Covid duty, as the case may be.
• Disabled individuals need no work at the office during this time period
• Private firm employees should keep their ID cards, and produce them on demand.
• Industries and companies working round-the-clock can function as usual. Their employees should produce ID cards if demanded.
• Hospitals, media organisations, telecom, and IT firms have been exempted. The distribution of milk, newspapers, and institutions dealing with water and power supply, too, can function.
• Textiles, jewellery shops and hairdressing salons to remain closed.
• The restrictions are not applicable to Covid vaccination centres. Those receiving vaccines must carry respective documents with them.
• Banks may continue to function from 10 am to 1 pm. It may remain open till 2pm without transactors.
• Shops selling essential items such as dairy products, vegetables, groceries, and fish and meat stalls will be allowed to function. They should encourage maximum door delivery
• Vendors in vegetable and fish markets should maintain a social distance of 2 metres. They should wear two masks and gloves.
• No restriction on door-to-door fish selling.
• Strict restrictions on weddings and funerals. The upper limit for both are 50 and 20 respectively.
• No indoor dining in hotels and restaurants. Home deliveries are allowed. Hotels and restaurants can function till 9pm
The departments/agencies that need not adhere to the maximum 25% employees rule are as follows:
• Revenue and disaster management, LSGD, police, health and healthcare institutions including laboratories and pharmacies, labour, factories and boilers, transport, food & civil Supplies, government press, Consumerfed, MILMA, KEPCO, Mathsyafed, etc. dealing with items of food.
• KWA, KSEBL, IT and ITeS services, telecom service providers, government press, postal services, Internet service providers and infrastructure providers.
• All private transport agencies (passenger and goods), courier services and all those connected with the production, supply and distribution of medical items needed for health and COVID care (including medical oxygen).
Progress report only for Class-9 students
Educational institutions in Kerala have been ordered not to prepare the progress report of students up to Class 8. This is however allowed for Class 9 as per an order of the Department of Public Education.
The Public Education director K Jeevan Babu said a decision on the case of students of one to eight would be made later.
The list of Class 9 students deserving promotion should be published before May 25, after preparing their progress report.
Valuation of exam papers should be conducted after considering the COVID-19 situation in respective areas.