Coronavirus outbreak: Kids can’t go to school so mid-day meal material will go home, says Kerala govt

Shaju Philip

Meanwhile, poultry checks are on at Kozhikode. PTI

WITH KERALA’S capital coming on the coronavirus map for the first time — three cases Friday in a total of 22 across the state so far — the government is taking its fight right down to the last rung. All children registered with its 33,000 anganwadis will now get the nutrients listed on the mid-day meal scheme at their homes.

“Parents can go to anganwadis to collect the material, or teachers can take the items for the next two weeks to the homes of children. There is no plan to supply cooked meals, though,’’ a government official told The Indian Express.

The state had decided to suspend all functions and shut down institutions, starting from anganwadis, Wednesday.

Supervised by the Social Justice Department, the 33,115 anganwadis supply nutrients for the noon meal to 3.75 lakh children aged between three and six. “On a day, a child is entitled to 60 grams of rice, 50 grams of wheat, 20 grams of green gram, 5 grams of urad dal and 5 grams of cooking oil. After the closure of anganwadis, we will ensure that children get these materials at their homes,” said the official.

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Besides, the official said, the supply of nutrients to feeding mothers, pregnant women and teenagers, as part of the central government-sponsored Integrated Child Development Services, will continue.

On Friday, the three cases reported in Thiruvananthapuram include an Italian tourist who was staying in a resort at Varkala beach. The other two are local residents who returned from Italy and UK.

Speaking on the latest cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said screening at airports would be strengthened to ensure that no passenger with foreign travel history does not skip the mandatory process. All resorts and home-stays in the state would also be inspected, he said.

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He said that since Keralites form a significant part of the Indian diaspora abroad, steps will be taken to isolate passengers arriving from certain countries — the Health Department will prepare a list of such countries.

Meanwhile, at Sabarimala temple, which was opened for monthly rituals, pilgrims were screened before they were allowed to trek to the hill shrine.