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Kerala imposes new COVID curbs amid surge in cases

Kerala imposes new COVID curbs amid surge in cases

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Monday imposed new restrictions amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and said the educational institutions which have less than 40 per cent attendance for consecutive three days will be closed for two weeks.

As per the new rule, the educational institutions with less than 40 per cent attendance will be declared as clusters.

"The meeting has decided to close, for two weeks, the educational institutions with less than 40 per cent attendance for three consecutive days and declare it as a cluster. The categorisation of districts based on the infection and hospitalisation will come to effect from Tuesday," the Chief Minister's Office said in a release.

The COVID-19 evaluation meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan virtually from the USA where he is undergoing treatment.

The meeting further noted that the spread was rapid and the hospitalisation has increased in the state.

The State government had earlier decided to impose restrictions at the district level on the basis of the number of people admitted to hospitals and authorised the Disaster Management Authority to divide the districts into three groups, A, B and C.

In the districts falling under the A category, all social, cultural, religious, political and public events and weddings and funerals can be attended by up to 50 people. No such gatherings will be allowed in the B and C category districts. In such areas, religious worship should be conducted online only and a maximum of 20 people will be allowed for weddings and funerals.

Movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms are not allowed to function in C category districts.

Thiruvananthapuram district has been included in the "category C" - where there will be the highest restrictions in Kerala is the only district in that category. Theatres, swimming pools, gyms to be closed there.

All classes (including tuition centres) -- except undergraduate and postgraduate level final year classes besides 10 and 12 classes-- are allowed online only in C category districts. However, residential educational institutions are allowed to operate on a bio-bubble model.

The CMO also informed that 83 per cent of the people in the state received both doses of the vaccine while 66 per cent of children received their vaccination in Kerala.

The evaluation meeting also said that it was better to approach accredited labs for testing for coronavirus and noted that there are instances where self-testing kits, purchased from medical shops, have recorded wrong readings.

Kerala, which has been registering over 45,000 daily new COVID-19 cases for the past few days, on Monday recorded 26,514 fresh positive cases taking the total affected in the state to 56,46,665.

The State reported 45,449 cases on Sunday while on Saturday, the state had recorded 45,136 new cases. On January 20, Kerala had registered 46,387 cases, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

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