Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has allowed work-from-home option for women who have children less than 2 years of age, cancer patients and those with severe illness, while imposing a series of new restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to increase, setting a new record. Doctor's certificate will have to be produced by those who avail themselves of this benefit which covers both government and private sector employees.
The State Government, however, stopped the practice of granting seven days' special casual leave to those who find a name in the primary contact list of those detected with COVID-19.
The decisions were taken at a review meeting on Thursday, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan through virtual mode from the United States.
On Thursday, Kerala logged its highest-ever daily COVID-19 tally, since the outbreak of the disease in early 2020. With 46,387 reported cases, the state has surpassed its previous high of 43,529 logged on May 12, 2021.
Strict anti-COVID protocols will have to be implemented by those responsible for running shops, malls, theme parks, beaches and other tourist spots. In all these establishments, sanitisers have to be made available at a particular spot.
Construction works can be carried out by maintaining proper distance between labourers. Such activities will be banned in areas where COVID-19 clusters have been identified.
The District Collectors have been given powers to enforce suitable restrictions by taking into account the special conditions existing in each district. The Chief Minister directed the Collectors to take appropriate decisions in consultation with the State Chief Secretary.
Sectoral magistrates would be deployed to monitor COVID containment measures in the areas designated as clusters.
A COVID-19 war room will be opened at the Secretariat.
Special schools for children will not be closed down.
As much as Rs 22 crore has been allotted to the districts from the Disaster Management Fund for dealing with the tough COVID-19 situation.
Those volunteers who were part of the COVID Brigade can be appointed again on an emergency basis if the need arises.
Cooperation of private hospitals must be ensured in carrying out the COVID-19 relief work.
IP FACILITY ONLY FOR SERIOUS CASES
Only those who are found having serious health issues due to COVID-19 will be allowed to be admitted to the In-Patient section of the medical college hospitals in the State.
At the meeting it was decided to popularise telemedicine as most of the COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment at home.
'C' CATEGORY DISTRICTS
The districts of the state have been divided into three categories based on how severe the cases are and how many people have been hospitalised.
Those districts where more than 25 percent of the COVID-19 patients are admitted to hospitals will be included in the `C' category.
As of now, no district has been identified under "C" category, where stricter regulations are enforced.
Under this category, no gyms or swimming pools are allowed to operate and only 20 people are allowed at weddings and funerals.
No social, cultural, religious, political and public functions will be allowed. Religious rituals can be performed only through online.
Offline classes are allowed for only final-year students in colleges and those in Classes 10 and 12 in "C" category districts.
All others have to attend classes online, including coaching classes. These restrictions are not applicable to the residential schools which follow the bio-secure bubble method.
The school teachers will also have to take online classes for Classes 1 to 9. Apart from taking online classes, they will have to enter in the "students' profile" the academic progress of each student.
Teachers will have to report to schools even if it is "study from home" for children.
There are changes in the time schedule of the classes offered by the KITE Victers Channel from Friday, Jan 21.