The Centre's guidelines on COVID-19 are being followed in Kerala and there is no problem, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on Thursday after the Union home ministry came down heavily on the state government for "dilution" of lockdown norms.
The Kerala government had allowed opening of restaurants, bus travel in cities and MSME industries in urban areas, but withdrew the relaxations after the ministry objected on Monday saying these "amount to dilution of lockdown guideline" imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The governor also commended the Pinarayi Vijayan dispensation for its efforts in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
"I am regularly briefed about the measures being taken by the LDF (Left Democratic Front) government on the fight against the deadly disease," Khan told PTI over phone.
"I am not only satisfied with the government's measures but also very happy with its performance," he said.
Khan, a former Union minister, said when the Centre expressed its unhappiness on some relaxations announced by the state government during the COVID-19 lockdown, Vijayan withdrew those relaxations.
"There is absolutely no problem now. They are following the instructions and guidelines of the Central government totally," he said.
Kerala has recorded 438 COVID-19 cases with 323 patients already discharged or cured. The state has recorded three deaths due to the infection.
In a letter to the Kerala government, the home ministry on Monday had said the state government on April 17 had circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures which allowed opening of activities which are prohibited in the Centre's consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15.
Such additional activities allowed by Kerla include opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four wheeler and pillion riding on scooters, it said
This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the home ministry had said.
The Kerala government had announced relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in two zones, allowing among others private vehicles movement on an odd-even basis and dine-in services at hotels from Monday.