THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taking a serious note of the rising Covid-19 cases, the state government has decided to intensify vigil till February 10. Attributing the surge in cases to people lowering their guard against the virus in public places, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed the deployment of 25,000 police personnel to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour among people. They will make sure that people wear masks and maintain social distancing at bus stands, railway stations, hospitals and shopping malls.
Ward councils to be reactivated for monitoring
“There has been an increase in Covid cases in the past few days. The test positivity rate has also climbed beyond 10 per cent. Though the spread has not increased to a level we witnessed previously, the fact that daily cases are more than recoveries calls for a total vigil,” the chief minister said.
“There has been a marked decline in the use of masks. Such an attitude will bring great danger.” He said more sectoral magistrates will be deployed to make interventions. Public functions, including marriages, should be conducted adhering to the limits imposed on crowding. Ward councils led by councillors will be reactivated to ensure effective neighbourhood monitoring. The CM said the state has also decided to ramp up sample testing to 1 lakh per day, of which 75% will be RT-PCR.
Though there is no ban on night travel, he suggested that people only undertake emergency travels after 10pm. “We are trying to strengthen defence by highlighting the motto ‘back to basics’ in the wake of rise in cases,” he said. The first sero prevalence survey by ICMR showed that less than 3% of the total population in the state were affected and it was one of the lowest in the country. According to him, only the second sero survey could tell if there was anything abnormal in rise in cases.
Number of Covid cases reported in past 3 weeks
Jan 4-10 35,296
Jan 11-17 36,700
Jan 18- 24 42,430
Cases per million 25,762.11
Tests per million 2,67,648.74
Case fatality rate 0.4%
Police to spearhead enforcement of restrictions
T’Puram: The rise in the number of Covid-19 cases has once again prompted the Police Department to marshall all its resources to ensure that the pandemic-related restrictions are totally enforced in the state. All police personnel have been asked to join the Covid-related operations till February 10. ADGP Vijay Sakhare has been appointed nodal officer to monitor the restrictions imposed on the public.