Current COVID-19 curbs to remain, no relaxations in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 21 (PTI): The Kerala government has said the prevailing category-wise exemptions and restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19 shall continue and that no additional relaxations would be made.

The government said it was of this view because of the directive of the Supreme Court to the State to pay heed to the right to life of citizens and the spread of the virus.

In its order dated July 20, the State administration said there would be a full lockdown on July 24 and July 25 with the same guidelines issued during the earlier phase of lockdowns on weekends.

'The present categorisation of Local Self-government Institution (LSGI) regions based on the seven-day average test positivity rate (TPR) shall continue. Exemptions and restrictions already applicable to the respective category areas will continue. No additional relaxations shall be granted anywhere under any circumstances,' the order said.

Collectors of districts have been told to identify and demarcate micro-containment zones in all their jurisdictions regardless of the categorisation of the LSGI regions, and enforce stringent restrictions to bring down the new cases, it said.

The Health Department has also been directed to conduct a mass testing campaign on Friday (July 23) with three lakh tests with special focus on those districts where the test positivity rate was above 10 per cent, the order read.

'Further, the number of daily tests shall also be enhanced immediately to the peak testing capacity for the effective containment of the pandemic,' it said.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the COVID-19 restrictions already in place would continue for another week as the average test positive rate was still above 10 per cent.

The Supreme Court had termed as wholly uncalled for the Left government's relaxation of lockdown ahead of the Bakrid festival.

The apex court had warned the government of action if the curbs were eased as it could worsen the COVID situation. PTI HMP NVG NVG

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