Jail and fine for those violating pandemic protocol, says Collector
Large political meetings will not be permitted for the next two weeks in Kozhikode in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases being reported from the district. Beaches will be closed to the public after 7 p.m., and social distancing will be mandatory at all places of worship.
District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao said on Saturday that those violating the pandemic protocol would have to face a year in jail or fine or both under the Disaster Management Act. These were decided at an all-party meeting at the Collectorate.
The participants expressed concern about the huge crowds that were thronging beaches and other tourism destinations. It was decided to restrict entry at these places. If more people are found to be reaching there, police personnel, sectoral magistrates, and destination managers will be asked to stop their entry. Vaccination certificates will be mandatory for those aged above 60 to visit tourism destinations.
The number of people at places of worship will be restricted to 100. Entry of those below the age of 10 and those above 60 will be restricted, and face masks and hand sanitisers will be compulsory. Wedding events will not be allowed to be held spreading across more days. Only 200 people can participate in open places and 100 at closed spaces. Details of such events should be uploaded on the COVID Jagrata portal.
Private buses and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation vehicles will not be allowed to carry people above their seating capacity. Action will be taken against those not using face masks at public places and in vehicles. Senior citizens will not venture out to public places.
Observation of physical distancing norms will be mandatory at shopping malls, markets, and shops. Only one person will be allowed entry per 30 sq.ft area. A.V. George, District Police Chief (Kozhikode City), District Medical Officer (in-charge) M. Piyush, senior officials, and representatives of political parties were present.
The district administration had on Friday decided to enforce physical distancing protocols, ramp up testing, and vaccinate all those who are eligible. It was pointed out that though the number of fresh cases had declined in the past five months, election-related gatherings had led to a rise in new infections and daily test positivity rate (TPR). The rate of testing and vaccination had been declining too. Daily TPR was found to be above 10% in grama panchayats.
Testing dropped from 98% in October to 29% in March. This could lead to more number of cases and deaths and even a lockdown will have to be imposed, the administration had said.
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