Kerala tightens COVID-19 guidelines after virus infection peaks

Deccan Chronicle.  | Smitha N

Nation, Current Affairs

Gathering of more than five persons banned, collectors can impose Sec 144

An elderly woman is discharged from Beach General Hospital after recovering from COVID-19, in Kozhikode. — PTI photo

In the wake of rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Kerala government has announced stringent restrictions to curb the spread of virus. Gathering of more than five persons at a time has been banned for a month from October 3.

Public congregations and gatherings pose an impending danger of a super spread of the infection. Hence, an assembly or gathering of more than five persons cannot be permitted, reads the order issued by Kerala chief secretary Vishwas Mehta.

For the enforcement of social distancing, the provisions of the Section 144 of the CrPC shall be effected. District magistrates are directed to assess the ground situation in their districts and use the relevant provisions and orders under Section 144 CrPC to control the spread of the disease, according to the government order.

Strict restrictions will be imposed in containment zones and in specific areas where the disease spread is apprehended. But, the existing relaxations for functions like marriages and funerals will continue. As per an earlier government order, 50 persons can attend marriage functions while 20 persons are allowed in funerals.

The state government has also decided not to reopen schools and colleges, though the Centre has given permission to the states as per Unlock 5.0 guidelines.

An all-party meeting convened by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan early this week has decided to implement stringent restrictions to rein the virus transmission while turning down the proposal for complete lockdown.

COVID-19 tally crosses 2 lakh in Kerala

Kerala reported 8135 fresh cases on Thursday taking the total COVID-19 tally to more than two lakhs. The total number of cases in the state stands at 2,042, 41. As many as 29 deaths, highest single day spike, were also reported on Thursday. With this, the total death toll in the state rose to 771.