THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With cases spiking alarmingly in the state and a super spread looming large, the government has banned gathering of more than five people at a time. The restriction will come into effect at 9 am on Saturday and remain until October 31 midnight.
The order issued by Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta also authorised district magistrates to use the emergency provision under Section 144 of CrPC to enforce social distancing.The gatherings at weddings and funerals will be exempted from the tougher norms, said the order but the existing limit of 50 and 20 persons, respectively, at these functions will be strictly enforced.Stringent restrictions should be imposed in containment zones and in specific areas where the spread of the disease is apprehended.
The Disaster Management Authority will issue a detailed list of guidelines considering the situation in each district. The state’s stricter measures have come a day after the Central government announced more relaxations under Unlock 5. The Central government had increased the number of people allowed at public functions to 100, from September 21.
Onam fete, protests by political parties worsened COVID situation
The situation in the state turned worse after the Onam celebrations and due to public protests organised by various political parties. It prompted the chief minister to call an all-party meeting last Tuesday where a consensus on stricter enforcement of social distancing was arrived at.
As a first step, the government told shops to ensure social distancing on its premises, failing which the shop owner would be liable for punishment. While the political parties were against reimposing a total lockdown in the state, the chief minister said Covid-19 protocol would be enforced more strictly using the police.
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