THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the Covid test positivity rate (TPR) continues to remain above 10% in the state, the government has decided to allow shops in areas under triple lockdown to open under certain restrictions on Monday, on account of Bakrid. A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take stock of the state’s Covid situation.
The meeting also decided to provide more relaxations in the restrictions imposed in local bodies under ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories (with TPR less than 5% and 10%, respectively). Shops selling and repairing electronic and household appliances will be allowed to function from 7am to 8pm in such areas from Mondays to Fridays. On special days, up to 40 people will be allowed in places of worship.
“Beauty parlours and barber shops will also be allowed to function in A and B category local bodies, with staff who have taken at least one dose of Covid vaccine. On the lines of permission given earlier for serial shooting, film shooting will also be permitted under strict curbs in such areas,” the CM said. Hostels of engineering and polytechnic college students will be reopened on account of semester exams.
CM: 60-70% of people can be vaccinated over next 2-3 months
Pinarayi said the second wave of Covid can be totally brought under control in the state and third wave prevented if everyone gets themselves vaccinated and strictly follows Covid protocol. He said going by the current pace, 60-70% of the people in the state can be vaccinated and herd immunity can be achieved over the next two-three months. The CM admitted that TPR in the state was continuing above 10% despite the number of Covid patients witnessing a decline.
He said the state was following the ‘targeted testing method’ where focus is given on testing those with symptoms and those under close contact with Covid patients. “When such category of people are subjected to Covid tests, more people with the disease are identified and hence, the TPR also shows an increased rate,” Pinarayi said. However, the state used only 70% of its capacity of beds in Covid hospitals and over 90% of the total patients were given free treatment in government hospitals, he said.
More relaxations in A, B category local bodies
- (TPR below 5 and 10% respectively)
- Shops selling and repairing electronic and household appliances to function from 7am to 8pm from Mondays to Fridays
- Maximum of 40 people allowed in places of worship on special days
- Beauty parlours and barber shops allowed to function, with staff who have taken at least one dose of vaccine
- Film shootings permitted under strict restrictions
10,000 devotees allowed in Sabarimala
The ceiling on the number of pilgrims allowed to visit Sabarimala temple using the virtual queue system has been raised to 10,000 a day. Earlier, 5,000 piligrims were allowed entry into the hill shrine on a single day.