Kerala orders complete lockdown on July 24, 25

New Delhi: Keeping in view the Supreme Court’s recent observations flagging laxity in COVID-19 curbs in Kerala, the state government on Wednesday (July 21) ordered a complete state-wide lockdown on July 24 (Saturday) and 25 (Sunday).

The administration also directed to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines issued on June 12 and 13 from Thursday, a day after the Bakrid celebrations.

“Exemptions and restrictions already applicable to the respective category areas will continue. No additional relaxations shall be granted anywhere under any circumstances,” the state government’s order read.

“There will be complete lockdown on 24th and 25th July 2021 (Saturday and Sunday) with the same guidelines as issued for 12th and 13th June 2021,” it said.

The government directed the District Collectors to identify and demarcate micro containment zones in all districts and enforce special intensified stringent restrictions so as to bring down the new cases at the earliest.

The further directed the Health and Family Welfare Department to conduct a mass testing campaign on Friday, July 23, with a target of 3 lakh tests across the state with a special focus on districts where the seven-day average COVID positivity rate is above 10 per cent.

“Further, the number of daily tests shall also be enhanced urgently to the peak testing capacity for the effective containment of the pandemic,” the order stated.

Last week, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that in view of Bakrid being celebrated on July 21 in the state, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas.

In D category areas, these shops can function only on July 19, he had said.

Areas with a Test Positivity Rate of less than five per cent are included in category A, those with five to 10 per cent are included in category B, areas with 10 to 15 per cent in category C and those above 15 per cent will be in category D.

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