Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday announced a nine-day complete lockdown in the state from the morning of May 8 to arrest the massive spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the lockdown would come into force on May 8 morning and extend up to May 16.
“The entire State of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong 2nd wave of #COVID19,” Vijayan tweeted.
The CM said there was no need for panic.
“Availability of essential articles/services will be ensured. Lockdown is essential to ensure #COVID19 spread is contained and that our lives are secure. Let us all cooperate. We shall overcome,” he said.
The lockdown was announced on a day Kerala reported the highest ever single day spurt in positive cases adding 42,464 fresh COVID-19 cases.
In the order, Chief Secretary V P Joy said anyone violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the relevant provisions of Disaster Management Act,2005,Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020 and other relevant laws in force.
As per the guidelines, offices of central government, state government and their autonomous and subordinate offices and public corporations shall remain closed.
Exceptions have been given to emergency services like defence, Central Armed Police Forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, Airport, Seaport, Railways, health, police, excise, forest and prisons, district collectorate etc.
But all such departments except those involved in COVID management shall minimise the staff requirements, the guidelines said.
Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sectors such as dispensaries, chemists and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulances etc will continue to remain functional, it said.
The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, paramedical staff, other hospital services will be permitted.
Agricultural, horticultural, fisheries, plantation and animal husbandry activities shall be permitted with minimum movement of persons.
Procurement and marketing of perishable agricultural commodities shall be permitted, it said.
Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down.
However, exceptions have been given to shops including ration shops (under PDS) dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal fodder, poultry and cattle feed, bakeries.
“However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimise the movement of individuals outside their homes”, it said.
All shops shall be closed by 7.30 pm except those relating to medical supply.
Banks, insurance and financial services are allowed to function from 10 AM to 1 PM only for the public with minimal staff upto 2pm.
Functioning of print and electronic media, telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services and IT and IT enabled services will be permitted.
Exceptions have also been given to delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment through e-commerce and home delivery, petrol outlets, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets, power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.
Industrial establishments will remain closed except manufacturing units of essential commodities, production units which require continuous process 24X7.
All roadways and waterways transport services will remain suspended.
Air and rail services (Except Metro) will remain operational.
However, goods transport will continue.
Use of taxis and auto rickshaws including Uber, Ola etc will be permitted only for procurement of essential commodities, medicines and for attending to medical emergencies as well as transport from/to airports and railway stations (with proof of ticket).
Plying of private vehicles shall be allowed only to the extent of procuring essential commodities, medicines and for other activities permitted under the order.
Private vehicles for persons travelling for vaccination against COVID-19 (showing their vaccination registration), movement of persons from other states/countries to destination from railway station and airport (with proof of ticket) will be allowed.
Interstate road transport is allowed for goods and emergency services.
For interstate road transport of individuals on emergency purposes, registration on COVID-19 Jagratha portal is mandatory.
Hospitality services to remain suspended.
However, exceptions have been given to hotels, home stays lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lock down, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew, establishments earmarked for quarantine facilities.
All educational, training, research, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.
All places of worship shall be closed for public.
All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious gatherings shall be barred.
In case of a funeral, a congregation of not more than 20 persons will be permitted.
Details may be registered in the COVID-19 jagratha portal.
In case of pre fixed marriages not more than 20 persons can be permitted with strict social distancing protocol.
Advance intimation to the nearest police station shall be given and details shall be entered in the COVID 19 jagratha portal.
Movement of volunteers connected with the COVID-19 activities shall be permitted.
Technicians (On call electrical and plumbing services), Pre-monsoon preparedness works, including cleaning works, shall be permitted.
Movement of House helps and caregivers for elderly and bedridden persons shall be permitted.
Construction and maintenance works shall be permitted.
MGNREGA and Ayyankali Employment Guarantee Scheme works with groups upto 5 people maintaining Covid protocols shall be permitted.
Transportation of workers to the site adhering to Covid protocols will also be permitted.
However, such transportation may be minimised, it said.