Kerala reported its second-highest single-day rise of 225 COVID-19 cases on Sunday taking the state’s total to 5,429. A day after recording the highest single-day surge of 240 cases, the state added 225 cases, of whom 117 were overseas returnees, 57 persons were from other states while 38 contracted the virus through their contacts.
"Other than this, seven Defence Security Corps (DSC) jawans in Kannur, two CISF jawans, two BSF jawans and two ship crew have also contracted the disease," state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said in a release.
Test results of 126 people who were undergoing treatment, was negative on Sunday, taking the cumulative recoveries in the state to 3,174 cases, the release said, adding that active cases stood at 2,228.
Of the fresh cases, Palakkad accounted for the highest at 29, followed by Kasaragod (28), Thiruvananthapuram (27), Malappuram (26) and Kannur (25).
“There are 1,80,939 people under observation in the state, out of which 2,944 are in isolation wards of various hospitals across the state,” the release said. A total of 7,461 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 2,68,218 samples.
The health department has also declared 24 new hotspots in the state, with the total number rising to 153. As per the latest medical bulletin, Malappuram has 278 cases, the highest in the state, followed by Kannur, with 274 infections. Palakkad (196), Ernakulam (194) and Alappuzha (191) are the other districts with a high number of cases.
Triple Lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram district has the most number of cases as a result of contact – at 22, forcing the administration to strengthen the implementation of the health protocol. Since the state capital has witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases, the state government imposed a triple lockdown for a week in Thiruvananthapuram corporation limits on Monday morning at 6 a.m.
“Triple lockdown will be implemented in the city corporation limit for one week starting from tomorrow. People should not venture out. We need strict restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. During triple lockdown, there will be more restrictions. Only necessary services will be allowed," Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran had said.
“There will be no public transportation. Only the medical, other essential shops and hospitals will function. People can go to medical shops with a proper prescription (sic)," he added.
Since the secretariat and administrative headquarters remain shut, the Chief Minister’s office would function from Cliff House, the official residence of the CM.
Kerala Govt. Makes COVID-19 Norms Mandatory for Public till 2021
Amid the rising numbers, the state government has made it mandatory for the public to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines such as wearing of masks for the next one year, as part of its measures to tackle the spread of the virus in the state. Through an amendment brought to the Epidemic Diseases Act, the state government said the regulations for the public will remain in effect till July, 2021. The norms have been issued under ''Kerala Epidemic Disease Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Additional Regulations, 2020.''
In the wake of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, the government has taken a decision to strengthen precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus, the government said in an explanatory note with the Gazette notification. According to the regulations, all persons shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or face cover in all public places, work places, any place which the public can access, in all kinds of vehicles and during transport.
"All persons shall maintain a social distance of six feet between person to person in all public places and functions... In all wedding ceremonies and functions thereafter the maximum number of participants at a time shall not exceed 50 people," it read. Not more than 20 people would be allowed at shops and funerals. No get-togethers, processions, dharna, congregation, demonstration shall be held without the written permission of the authorities concerned. Spitting in public places is strictly prohibited, it said.
In order to travel to Kerala, all residents and non- residents must register with the COVID-19 Jagratha platform before undertaking the journey. The District Collectors have been instructed to ensure due compliance of the regulations. Those who violate the rules shall be penalised under the provisions of the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020.