The State government has further tightened lockdown restrictions in Kottayam, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Idukki after new COVID-19 cases cropped up in the districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

Mr. Vijayan also declared Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram, Oachira in Kollam, and Udayanapuram in Kottayam as COVID-19 hotspots. Kerala now has 70 such hubs of highly transmissible COVID-19 infection. The police have sealed off the hotspots.

Only essential services are allowed and entry and exit points are restricted through one designated road. The police have formed special tracking teams for every 20 households to monitor persons in quarantine, trace the contacts of those who have tested positive, collect field information, and clamp down on public activity in designated hotspots.

Crowding at harbours

Mr. Vijayan said crowding at fish landing centres to conduct banned auctions put the coastal population at risk of disease spread. People had thronged the Vizhinjam harbour in Thiruvananthapuram in violation of lockdown norms. He also flagged the case of migrant workers protesting in Malappuram.

The police are often hard-pressed to speak harshly to persuade the public to adhere to lockdown regulations. The government would brook a measure of tough-talking.

However, it would punish law enforcers who rough up or wantonly harass citizens on the pretext of enforcing the lockdown.

Illegal entry via boats

Mr. Vijayan said a set of boat operators smuggled people from Kottayam to Alappuzha through the backwaters. The police would stop the illegal transit that jeopardised both districts.

News Source: The Hindu


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