| Kochi |
Updated: July 6, 2020 12:13:07 am
The Kerala government announced a ‘triple lockdown’ for a week in areas of Thiruvananthapuram city falling under the jurisdiction of the local corporation, starting 6 am Monday. The step was taken after a surge in Covid-19 cases and fears of community spread.
A triple lockdown entails all the restrictions put into place to suspend movement of the public, except for essential purposes, and thus break the chain of the transmission of the virus.
All roads except one leading to the city will be shut down, with police personnel posted round-the-clock to monitor the movement of people. Grocery and vegetable shops, medical shops, hospitals, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps and cooking gas agencies will be allowed to operate within specified timings.
The movement of passengers from airports and railway stations will be allowed with safety precautions in place. Trucks carrying essential supplies, workers associated with electricity, water supply and sanitation, those employed with mobile service shops, data entry operators and journalists will be allowed to commute through containment zones. Public exams in all educational institutions remain suspended.
The public are advised to stay at home unless they need to step out for essential work. Such persons must carry signed declaration forms stating why they have stepped out of their homes. The police will have the authority to book and fine offenders. The police, along with volunteers, will help with doorstep delivery of essential services for those unable to step out, and helpline numbers have been issued for this.
A release from the police department confirmed that all government offices in Thiruvananthapuram city, including the secretariat, will remain closed for the next one week. The chief minister is likely to hold meetings and discharge his duties at his official Cliff House residence.
Kadakampally Surendran, the minister in-charge of the district, told reporters Sunday, “The state capital is sitting on top of a volcano. It can burst any moment. We request people to stay at home. We are on the brink of community spread and the situation can get really worse.”
The concern among authorities in the state capital and the district is the rise in Covid-19 cases through primary or secondary contact, many of whose origin of infection is yet to be established. This means that such persons have no travel history or a known contact with an infected person. On Sunday alone, 22 among the 27 new infections in the district are through primary or secondary contact. The origin of infection in many of them are yet to be established.
Health officials plan to carry out large-scale antigen tests in coastal areas like Poonthura, which have reported many cases. They aim to use the next one week in carrying out extensive contact tracing of those who have tested positive so far and put them under quarantine
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