With the positivity rate surging high, the Kerala government has decided to impose a triple lockdown in four districts — Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram — from Sunday, announced Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

“The step has been taken to decrease the disease spread in the districts,” said Vijayan, adding that the areas will be divided as zones with high police officials named in charge.

Vijayan said that drones will be used to see if there is crowding in these areas and geo-fencing will be implemented to find out if people are skipping quarantine.

“A case will be registered under the epidemic act against those who skip quarantine and help people to skip quarantine. Milk, paper delivery should be completed before 6 am. Bakery and grocery shops should open on alternate days. Banks will function on Tuesday and Friday from 10 am to 1 pm. Medical shops, petrol pumps will be open,” he said.

The CM has also announced that free food kit distribution will be continued for May and June.

Vijayan added that the borders of these districts will remain closed.

He further informed that a few cases of the fungal infection seen in Maharashtra and Gujarat have also been seen in Kerala.

“The disease was reported before Covid also. State Medical Board is collecting samples for studies,” he added.

In addition to this, the statewide lockdown, which was supposed to end on 16 May, has also been extended till 23 May.

What is a triple lockdown?

It is a three-phased containment strategy to arrest the spread of the virus.

In the first phase, the authorities will restrict the movement of people and vehicles within the corporation limits. Vehicles and persons will not be allowed to enter or exit the area too.

However, grocery, vegetable stores and medical shops are allowed to operate. People can call helpline numbers for doorstep delivery of essential items.

Those stepping out for essential reasons are advised to carry signed declaration forms explaining why they are outside.

The second phase is implemented on a cluster level where Covid-19 cases have been reported. Since these areas contain primary and secondary contacts, a lockdown will prevent further spread to neighbouring areas.

In the third phase, which is critical in preventing community spread, the houses of those infected are on the authorities’ watch.

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