With the coronavirus caseload crossing 41.51 lakh, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday asked the local self government bodies in the state to intervene effectively in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and said neighbourhood committees would be formed to check the spread of the virus. Vijayan said a statewide lockdown was not an option as it would adversely affect the economy and the livelihood of the people and asked everyone to strictly follow the quarantine protocol or else fine will be levied.
Vijayan, who was speaking at a virtual meeting of statewide local self government body representatives and officials, said the state was able to keep the case fatality rate at around 0.5 per cent even when the test positivity rate was around 18-20 per cent.
“Neighbourhood committees, comprising government officials, volunteers, resident associations, would be set up for COVID-19 mitigation. Intervention should be made to reduce the spread in the state. The neighbourhood committees, rapid response team, ward-level committees, police and sectoral magistrates should implement the restrictions and control the spread,” Vijayan said.
He said those who come in contact with a positive patient should be kept under observation and asked the local self government bodies, leaders, and officials to work together as they have done in the initial phase of the pandemic.
“We have already given the first dose of vaccine to 74 per cent of the people and second dose to 27 per cent of the population. All health workers and frontline workers have been administered with the first dose of vaccine and 86 per cent of them received the second jab,” he said.
“Nobody wants another state-wide lockdown because its implementation will adversely affect the economy and the livelihood of the people. Those who are in quarantine should not venture out or else fine will be levied from them. They will be moved to quarantine centres at their own expense. Those who do not have facilities at their residence, should move to Covid first line treatment centres (CFLTCs),” Vijayan said at the meeting which was also attended by Ministers M V Govindan and Veena George among other officials. Kerala has been reporting around 30,000 cases for the last two weeks and on Friday recorded 29,322 new infections and 131 COVID-19 related deaths, taking the infection count to 41,51,455 and the death toll to 21,280.