The Kerala government has decided to enforce partial-lockdown on February 6 to curb the recent surge in COVID cases.
The development comes on the back of positive results from having enforced restrictions for the past two Sundays.
Dubbed ‘Sunday lockdowns’, the restrictions have been effective not just in curtailing movement but also to ensure that public gatherings are held sparsely and infrequently, the government said.
Like the past two Sundays, only essential services will be allowed on February 6.
The government has also urged people to avoid needless travel during the weekends.
Travel will only be permitted in the case of emergencies and for the procurement of essential items or services. Documents to this effect must be produced when asked by authorities.
Even while these restrictions remain, the district-wise restrictions will continue as usual.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that despite the recent COVID surge, the number of people seeking medical treatment is under control.
Health Minister Veena George has stated two likely reasons for this: the fact that more people are now fully vaccinated and the non-lethal nature of Omicron.
Though George had earlier urged all to refrain from seeking hospital consultations amid a rampant COVID wave among healthcare professionals, Vijayan clarified that this does mean hospitals can turn away those who are seriously ill.
Strict action will be taken against those who deny treatment to the seriously ill, Vijayan said.
This applies to all government and private hospitals, he added.
On Monday, Kerala reported 42,154 new COVID cases and 38,458 recoveries.
Among those who contracted the virus include 340 healthcare professionals while 38,406 got it through contact.
The number of active COVID cases in the state now stands at 3,57,552.