Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the district administration has decided to continue with the lockdown but decided to ease certain curbs implemented in the city corporation to ensure livelihood and revive normal day-to-day activities. The city was under 'triple lockdown' since July 5 following a spike in the number of coronavirus cases and patients through contacts.
Two coastal regions in the district were declared containment zones earlier this month after authorities confirmed the community spread of the virus. The state government had earlier appointed a chief secretary-headed panel to submit a report on the easing of lockdown restrictions in the state capital. District Collector Dr Navjot Khosa, in a late night order issued on Tuesday, said "lockdown will continue" until further orders in the district where there are more than2,936 active cases, but based on the recommendations of the Chief Secretary-chaired committee, it was decided to ease restrictions "to ensure livelihood and revive normal day-to-day activities."
"The wards which are in containment zones will continue to remain so with strict restrictions as mentioned in the specific orders declaring those wards as critical/containment zones," the order said. As per the order, all shops can remain open from7 AM to 7 PM adhering to COVID-19 protocol and the restaurants can function for providing takeaway packets.
"No in-house dining is permitted.Home delivery is permitted in non-containment zones. Public transport, including taxis and autorickshaws,is allowed with 50 per cent carriage capacity in non-
containment zones," the order said. Government offices and private enterprises are permitted to function with 1/3rd and 25 per cent of staff respectively. "All shops shall keep a time slot from 4 PM to 6 PMdedicated only to senior citizens. Hypermarkets, Malls, salons, Spa and beauty parlours shall not be opened until further orders," the order said.
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The district administration also said all congested market places shall be allowed to function with strict entry-exit protocols. Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, auditoriums, bars, assembly halls and similar places shall remain closed. All cultural, sport, social, entertainment, academic, religious functions and other large gatherings are not allowed. On July 20, licenses of two prominent hypermarket stores, Ramachandra and Pothys, were suspended for allegedly violating lockdown protocol contributing to the increase in COVID-19 caseload here.
Mayor K Sreekumar had said that as the COVID cases were going up, the two prominent establishments contributed to the spread of the virus and functioned even during Sundays. At least 100 staff members of Ramachandra, which has multiple outlets in the state capital, had tested positive and many customers may have been infected, he said. Kerala on Tuesday reported the highest single day spike of 1,167 COVID19 cases, taking the infection tally to20,894 while the death toll climbed to 67 with four more deaths. Thiruvananthapuram alone reported 222 positive cases yesterday out of which 199 contracted the disease through contact.