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Kerala may revise Covid curb plan

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 01, 2021

A view of deserted Rainbow bridge at Marine Drive in Kochi during weekend lockdown on Sunday Thulasi Kakkat   -  The Hindu

May give up weekend lockdowns, alternate day shutdown

A high-level committee of officials in Kerala is learnt to have suggested that the State give up its Covid containment strategy that includes weekend lockdowns and other curbs on alternate days, after detractors condemned it as an utter failure, even proving detrimental to public health.

Sources said the government is now convinced that current lockdowns have only encouraged people to crowd around shops and establishments on days when they are open. The high-level committee has instead suggested targeted micro-containment of affected areas based on test positivity rate (TPR).

Micro-containment seeks to close down wards/panchayats where the TPR is high rather than ask an entire municipality/corporation to close down, as currently practiced.

Weekend lockdowns led to crowding on Fridays and Mondays, precisely what authorities thought they would help avoid. Shops must be able to operate as normal, strictly subject to protocols.

Compliance

While reviewing strategy, the government must also order even more strict compliance with norms. All public and private functions including meetings, weddings, funerals, and place of worships must be regularly monitored and enforcement agencies deployed to keep a strict vigil.

The rising numbers of new cases have not translated into as many severe cases or hospital admissions, which the committee attributed to increasing vaccination cover. Given this, vaccination should be given a top priority. These recommendations would come up during the Covid review meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the State reported 20,728 new Covid infections from the 1.70 lakh samples tested at a TPR of 12.14 per cent. Malappuram (3,770); Thrissur (2,689); Kozhikode (2,434); and Ernakulam (2,246) continued to top the chart while the daily death toll came markedly down to 56.

Published on August 01, 2021

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