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Kerala police on special drive on lockdown-eve

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 07, 2021

Warns against crowding, violation of protocol

The Kerala police have launched a special drive to prevent crowding and panic buying at shops, trade and commercial establishments and flouting of protocol on public roads on the eve of the second lockdown in the second year of the pandemic coming into effect from 6 am tomorrow (Saturday).

The police have been specially directed to turn their attention to shops vending essential items as the the notification of the lockdown gave the public a lead time of a day and a half for stocking up. The police will also check on mask wearing and if it is being followed in the right manner as protocols warrant.

Sanitising, social distancing

Negligence with respect to use of sanitisers and its availability at shops and establishments will not be tolerated. Social distancing will also need to be strict adhered to, an official spokesman said here. Any wilful violation of the protocol will invite the strictest punishment or penalty.

Meanwhile, stand-in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has convened an online meeting of people’s representatives and officials of the local self-government institutions at 8 am tomorrow (Saturday) to discuss ways to deal with the evolving crisis triggered by the second wave of the pandemic.

The state is currently negotiating quite unchartered a territory with the ‘surge capacity’ of its public health infrastructure being coming under severe test. It has lost 628 lives in the last 15 days due to Covid-19, and the number of patients being treated in the ICUs has crossed 2,000, which is unprecedented.

Unchartered territory for state

The last two days have seen new active cases jump by more than 40,000, and a corresponding in the rise of those who develop complications warranting treatment in ICUs or on ventilators. The state had 807 patients on ventilators as on Thursday, the official spokesman said.

The death toll is now averaging more than 50 every day, although the case fatality rate continues to be among the lowest in the country. A majority of the new cases are quarantined at home, and there is already evidence that homes and apartments could be emerging as new clusters, a new trend.

Available data suggest that the number of patients in the advanced age group is trending a tad lower given that most of them have received vaccines. But this is also sobered by the new realisation that death among the non-vaccinated able and young are going up, cause for major worry.

Disparity in death numbers?

Health experts speaking on condition of anonymity say that the disparity in death rates versus the actual number of bodies reaching various crematoriums in the state continues to create a wrong sense of complacency among the larger public, which is ‘very unfortunate.’

Health Department officials have directed both the asymptomatic patients and those who have tested negative for the virus quarantined at home to take the strictest personal care of their health and be aware of the possibility of developing complications afresh without warning.

Published on May 07, 2021

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