More restrictions to be imposed at public places

The State police on Thursday spread out across public places to insist that people wear masks and maintain social distance.

The grim shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to lengthen in Kerala amidst widespread apprehension that laxity in observing the pandemic prevention protocol during the elections could seed new outbreaks.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary V.P. Joy reportedly weighed stricter restrictions on mass gatherings given the prediction that Kerala could witness a spike of infections in the next three weeks.

The government has already insisted that public transport buses do not admit passengers above the legal seating capacity. It has also restricted the number of travellers in autorickshaws to not more than two.

An official said the Centre and State governments were against a total lockdown given its socio-economic implications. However, the administration has set in motion a return to COVID-19 precautions. It would also identify outbreak points and ensure the infection did not radiate out from the hotspots.

The police said they would rope in local communities to impose the pandemic prevention code via consensus. They were calling on marriage hall managements to restrict the number of attendees to less than 100. The law enforcement reminded supermarkets and malls to discourage overcrowding. The police have increased their presence in open markets, beaches, parks and other places where people tend to congregate.

It has also stepped up vigil at border check-posts to ensure travellers wore masks and observed the COVID-19 protocol.

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