'Triple lockdown' in Kerala: Govt to use drones, geo fencing to track lockdown violators
Thiruvananthapuram, May 15: Drones and Geo Fencing technology will be used and strict restrictions would be clamped in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts, reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases, where triple lockdown will come into force from midnight on Sunday,Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
"A detailed order in this regard will be issued by the respective District Disaster Management Authorities. The current lockdown will continue in the other ten districts of the State," Vijayan told reporters here on Saturday.
With Covid cases continuing its surge, the government had on Friday decided to extend the state-wide lockdown for another week from Sunday and impose triple lockdown in the four districts.
While Malappuram reported 4,782 cases, the highest, Ernakulam accounted for 3,744, Thrissur 3,334 and Thiruvananthapuram 3,292 cases today.
"Triple lockdown is the most rigorous way to control the spread of the disease.The boundaries of these districts will be closed.There will be only one entry and exit point to and from the places where the triple lockdown has been declared,especially containment zones," Vijayan said.
Unnecessarily going out from the house, crowding, not wearing a mask, or violating any other Covid protocol will be subject to severe legal action as per the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance Act, 2020, he said.
"Areas, where the triple lockdown is being implemented, will be divided into zones and the task of control will be handed over to higher police officials.Drones will be used to detect crowds and geo-fencing technology will be used to track those in quarantine.Ward committees should take the necessary steps for home delivery of food from community kitchens and Janakeeya hotels."
"All other social activities should be avoided in these places. Ten thousand policemen will be deployed to strictly enforce the triple lockdown," the CM said.
While medical shops and petrol pumps will be open throughout, bakery and provision stores would open on alternative days.
Banks will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays while Cooperative banks will function on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 am to 1 pm with minimum staff.
Kerala reported 32,680 new cases from 1,22,628 sample tests in the last 24 hours. The Chief Minister said the registration for vaccination for people between the ages of 18 and 44 has started.
Priority will be given to those with other serious illnesses, the chief minister said.
Preference will be given to those in approximately 20 categories, including those with cardiovascular disease, severe hypertension, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, cancer, sickle cell anaemia, HIV infection, and those who have undergone organ transplantation, dialysis, and those with some form of disability.
People in these categories should register as soon as possible and be prepared to receive the vaccine once it is approved,he said.
"Most of the Covid patients are being treated in government hospitals.In addition, the government has covered the treatment cost of 39,280 patients in private hospitals. They were either referred from government hospitals and control cells or are beneficiaries of the Karunya health security scheme (KASP).An amount of Rs.102 crore has been spent for this so far," the chief minister added.
The Centre has sanctioned one more oxygen train for Kerala.
The first oxygen express will reach Vallarpadam on Sunday morning, Vijayan said.