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Unlock: Kerala decision on in-dining at hotels likely today

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 14, 2021

Govt declares Saturday as working day from this week

A weekly Covid review meeting to take place this (Tuesday) evening will likely decide on further ‘unlock’ measures in Kerala, including permission for in-dining at hotels, after Monday. The State government declared Saturdays back again as working days from this week.

The punch-in and punch-out routine will resume and replace biometric punching with card punching, an official spokesman said. Both had been revoked during lockdown. The ‘unlcok’ is despite neighbouring States, especially Karnataka, having put tighter restrictions on arrivals from Kerala.

Bringing back normalcy

The gradual ‘unlock’ is being attempted as part of the efforts of the government to bring normal life back to the State. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has gone on record saying the State cannot afford to lock itself down indefinitely and ‘it is time we learn to live with the virus, going forward.’

Declaring Saturday as a working day for office is the first step towards this, the spokesman said. During the first lockdown (during first Covid wave), Saturday had been restored as a working day only to be reversed during the second lockdown, ringing in a five-day week instead.

Musuems too are being opened for public from Thursday as the next phase of the ‘unlock’ being implemented in the tourism sector in the State. A decision expected later on Tuesday on in-dining hotel will only fit well with the current permission to dine in the open premises wherever possible.

Covid rages, Nipah dissipates

Covid test positivity rate (TPR) has been on a roller coaster in the sub-20 per cent level with Monday returning 16.39 per cent after less-than-a-lakh samples (91,885) were tested during the weekend. Ninety-nine more deaths were compiled on the day, taking the cumulative tally to 22,650.

The Covid case load has come down to 2,08,773 from a level of close to two lakh last week, the Health Department said. Only 13.5 per cent of these cases are now admitted in hospitals/field hospitals. Number of inpatients in hospitals too has come down to 29,525 (30,000+ last week).

In Kozhikode, the Nipah fever appeared to have subsided with Health Minister Veena George declaring that as many as 140 samples had so far tested negative for the deadly virus. Efforts are underway to establish the source of the virus after it claimed a life last Sunday, the minister added.

Published on September 14, 2021

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