In an attempt to break the chain of COVID-19 virus transmission, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced a 9-day statewide lockdown from May 8-16. What will remain open and what will stay closed? We’ve got it all covered for you.

Background

On May 6, the CM Office of Kerala fired a tweet announcing a state-wide lockdown. The decision was taken after the state reported as many as 41,000 new COVID-19 cases, its highest since the pandemic began in 2020. With the 41 thousand cases the state’s total tally has reached to 17,43,932 overall COVID-19 infection cases.

Details

Due to the evident “worsening” of the COVID-19 situation in the state, the Kerala CM announced a 7-day statewide lockdown that will come in effect from Saturday. Since more than a month citizen of Kerala have already been living with weekday night curfew that is enforced from 9 PM to 5 AM with lockdown-like shutdown during the weekends.

However, due to the sharp increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases registered on May 5, the CM met with health experts and police departments to come to a conclusion of imposing a complete lockdown.

“As directed by the CM, the entire State of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong 2nd wave of #COVID19,” came the word from CMO Kerala twitter handle.

Kerala Lockdown: What’s open?

1. All government offices of group A and B can operate with 50% attendance, offices under Group C and D can operate at 33% category.

2. Employees of internet providers and telecom providers and related services will be allowed to move only after producing a valid ID card.

3. People who are needed to travel to take the vaccination can do so after producing relevant documents.

4. Essential services like groceries, dairies, meat & fish shops and vegetable stores will be allowed to open.

5. Restaurants can only deliver food to home. Takeaways are not permitted.

6. Marriages registered on the state’s portal will be allowed to take place. Strictly 50 people will be permitted to attend a wedding. For funerals the number is 20, similar to other states.

7. Hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres will be open for patients and staff.

Kerala Lockdown: What’s closed?

1. Places of public gathering such as parks, halls, grounds will be closed.

2. Educational institutes, schools, universities will continue to remain close.

3. Malls, theaters, religious places, salons will remain close.

4. Private IT companies will be asked to have employees work under the Work From Home arrangement.

Efforts made by Kerala govt

As states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab reels under the panic created due to lack of oxygen, Kerala govt has taken the proactive measure of creating dedicated “oxygen war rooms” at state and district levels.

Kerala CM recently took to Twitter and said how these oxygen war rooms will have authorities like police, health transportation, disaster management, and other stake holders connected.

“Dedicated Oxygen War Rooms will function at State and District levels with representatives of Police, Health, Transportation, Disaster Management and PESO. O2 stock is being monitored in the Districts by Collectors. O2 module will be included in COVID-19 Jagratha portal,” wrote Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

In the oxygen war rooms the stock of oxygen on state and district level is monitored. Further, the war rooms will also have people constantly monitoring availability of crucial COVID-19 resources such as ventilators, ICU beds and this information will be updated in every few hours.

The Kerala State govt has also created call-centres to help migrant workers that have travelled to Kerala for job. These bilingual call centres will be addressing the issues of migrant workers in the state who are also commonly known as “guest workers”.

Vaccination effort

The state of Kerala has so far given vaccine jabs to 74 lakh people. This is almost 20% of the states overall population which is an estimated 3.25 crores. Kerala’s vaccination efforts were recently appreciated by the Health Ministry and the Prime Minister as the state reported zero vaccine wastage.