Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said that lockdown restrictions are inevitable in the state, even though the lockdown brought down by the second wave of COVID-19 has brought social and economic distress to the people. Vijayan attended a review meeting on Saturday wherein the decision to relax certain covid restrictions was taken.
CM observed that the test positivity rate is now down to 10% as opposed to a whopping 29%, and notified of the following changes in COVID restrictions in Kerala.
- Currently, there are 86 Local Self Government institutions in the A category (TPR less than 5 percent), 392 local bodies in B category (5-10 percent TPR), 362 in C category C (10-15 percent TPR and 194 local bodies in the D category (TPR above 15 percent).
- Shops in D-category areas can open for a day on Monday to enable Bakrid shopping, subject to restrictions. Some concessions for three days, starting Sunday, were announced earlier on Friday.
- Up to 40 persons, with at least one dose of vaccination, will be allowed in religious places on special days.
- Electronic repair shops, shops selling electronic goods and home appliances can open on all days from Monday to Friday in A & B category areas till 8 pm.
- Beauty parlours can open in these areas only for hairstyling when other shops are allowed to open in these areas. The staff should have taken at least one dose of vaccine.
- Film shooting can also resume provided the crew members have taken at least one dose.
Briefing the media after a review meeting today, the Chief Minister said, "The Covid second wave commenced in other states in mid-March but started in Kerala only in May. The daily caseload has also declined from above 40,000 at one stage. The number of patients has also come down. But there is a possibility of the virus spreading at a high speed. We need to strictly follow the Covid protocol and restrictions."
"Kerala is at the forefront of vaccination. If everyone takes care to get vaccinated and strictly follow the code of conduct at the micro-level, we can completely control the second wave and avoid the third wave. It is expected that within two to three months, 60-70% of people can be vaccinated and we will be able to achieve herd immunity", Vijayan said.
Meanwhile, 16,148 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Kerala today even as 13,197 patients have recovered from the disease. 1,50,108 sample tests were conducted in the last 24 hours with a test positivity rate of 10.76%. At the same time, 114 recent deaths were confirmed as due to Covid and the death toll in the state is now 15,269. At present, there are 1,24,779 patients under treatment in the State.
(With ANI Inputs)