The move comes as Kerala has been seeing a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

A branch of Catholic Syrian Bank in Kerala Image for representation only
news Coronavirus Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 14:21

Banks will remain closed on Saturdays in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state. This includes the existing public holidays which banks get every second and fourth Saturday in a month.

“Managers of all banks shall ensure that the health and social distancing advisories issued by the government are strictly followed during the working hours (sic),” the order stated. 

The move comes as Kerala has been witnessing a rising number of coronavirus cases. In his press meet on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that two places in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram have community transmission of the virus. Pulluvila Panchayat in Karumkulam and Poonthura have had too many cases of COVID-19 through local transmission which indicates community spread, the CM added. 

The CM added that coastal Thiruvananthapuram was in a critical stage with results of 51 of 97 persons tested for the novel coronavirus returning positive in Pulluvila, and 26 out of 50 people in Poonthura testing positive. A number of departments are working together to contain the spread in the area. 

On Friday, Kerala reported 791 cases of the COVID-19 with 246 of these being from Thiruvananthapuram and 115 being from Ernakulam. 

The situation is particularly bad in Thiruvananthapuram where 237 of the 246 cases were through local transmission. 

Currently, Kerala has 6029 active cases of coronavirus. The number of recoveries on Friday was 133. The state also reported the death of a man from Thrissur district who tested positive for coronavirus. Another man, who had died by suicide on July 14 in Kurissery, had returned from Saudi Arabia, and was found to be positive for the virus. However, the CM added that this death would not be counted in the COVID-19 deaths as it was suicide.

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