Supreme Court strictures: Kerala orders complete weekend lockdown

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 21, 2021

File photo of a deserted Banrji Road in Kochi during Covid-19 lockdown.   -  THE HINDU

Directs to conduct the mass testing campaign on Friday with a 3 lakh target.

Smarting under severe strictures by the Supreme Court, Kerala has officially brought back the strict weekend lockdown regime into effect from Saturday and Sunday (July 24 and 25) with the State government ruling out the grant of additional relaxations anywhere under any circumstances.

The Health and Family Welfare Department has been directed to conduct a mass testing campaign on Friday with a target of three lakh tests with a particular focus on districts where the seven-day average test positivity rate (TPR) is above 10 per cent.

Ramping up tests across state

The number of daily tests shall also be enhanced urgently to the peak testing capacity for the effective containment of the pandemic, a government order signed by the State Chief Secretary said.

District Collectors are directed to identify and demarcate micro-containment zones in all districts, regardless of the categorisation of the local self-government jurisdictions, and enforce special intensified stringent restrictions to bring down the new cases at the earliest, a government order said.

The order also recalled that the Supreme Court had directed the state to heed Article 21, read Article 144 of the Constitution, and follow the law laid down in its orders in the Uttar Pradesh case.

SC strictures weigh on government

It complied with the apex court’s orders that the current situation of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state has been reviewed. Later, in his capacity as Chairman of the State Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority, the Chief Secretary issued the government order.

The present categorisation of the local self-government institution regions based on seven-day average Test positivity rate into A, B, C, D in the order of increasing prevalence will continue. Exemptions and restrictions already applicable to the respective category areas will continue.

Published on July 21, 2021

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