Covid: Ker Govt to make wearing of masks, social distancing

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mandatory, do more testing Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 27 (PTI) With the COVID-19 graph in Kerala continuing its upward trend, the LDF government on Wednesday decided to impose stringent restrictions, making wearing of masks and ensuring social distancing mandatory and increasing testing to bring down the numbers by mid-February.

A high-level Covid evaluation meeting chaired byChief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan felt that the situation would worsen if such a step was not taken, as there was a general lack of alertness among people after relaxation of restrictions.

Kerala on Wednesday recorded 5,659 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the total caseload to over nine lakh.

The government also said COVID guidelines should be strictly followed while organising public functions.

It decided to utilize the services of police personnel to implement the restrictions, along withsectoral magistrates, who are now entrusted with surveillance duties, a press release from the Chief Minister's Office said.

In containment zones, the restrictions will be further stregthened.

The government's effort is to bring down the cases by mid February.

In marriages also, the guidelines should be strictly followed and it should be ensured that not more than 100 people attend such gatherings, the release said.

The government has also decided to conduct one lakh tests Covid tests daily, 75 per cent of which would be RT PCR.

More tests would be conducted in camps of guest workers and factories like cashew, where the employees sit close together while at work.

As per a study by the Community Medicine department of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical college hospital, 56 per cent of people get infected from inside their homes.

Those coming home from outside infect family members and 20 per cent of people get infected from markets, malls and restaurants, it said.

At least 65 per cent of infected people failed to observe social distancing norms and 45 per cent are those who do not wear masks.

While five per cent of the children get infected from schools, 47 per cent were infected from their homes, the study pointed out. PTI UDAPR ADMINISTRATOR ADMINISTRATOR