State-wide phase II lockdown begins

The phase II lockdown in 10 districts and triple lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts clamped to bring down the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus began on Sunday midnight and will be in force till May 23.

The restrictions are being imposed as the test positivity rate of COVID-19 has not shown any significant decrease even after the phase I lockdown was enforced from May 8, Chief Secretary V.P. Joy has said.

Slight relaxation

In addition to the relaxations allowed in the phase I lockdown, shops selling construction materials, including plumbing and electrical materials, have been allowed to function from 11 a.m. to 6 p. m. observing strict COVID-19 protocols during the phase II.

Delivery of books through e-commerce/ home delivery has also been allowed. Sale and transportation of natural rubber has been allowed on May 17 and May 21 to help the rubber growers.

Banks to work 3 days

However, banks will function only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with limited staff and restricted timings in all the 14 districts. In the four districts where the triple lockdown has been enforced, distribution of newspapers, milk and sale of fish at the doorstep will have to be completed by 8 a.m.

The District Collectors, who also heads the District Disaster Management Authorities, issued additional stringent restrictions. The inter-district boundaries have been closed. There will be only one entry and exit point to and from the places. The districts have been divided into zones and the task of control has been given to higher police officials.

An additional 10,000 police personnel have been deployed to enforce the triple lockdown. Drones will be used to detect crowds and geo-fencing technology will be used to track those in quarantine at homes.

Ward committees under the local bodies will deliver food from community kitchens and Janakeeya hotels for those in need. Unnecessarily going out from houses, crowding, not wearing masks, or violating any other COVID protocols will be subject to severe legal action as per Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020.

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