In view of the rising numbers of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed that the number of attendees at weddings and funerals be limited to a maximum of 50 people. The decision was taken at the COVID-19 review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, a state government release said.
Last week, the government had directed that the number of people at marriages, funerals, political, social and cultural events in closed rooms be restricted to 75, and in open spaces to 150. Now in the latest decision, it has been further reduced to 50 without specifying whether it is for closed rooms or open spaces or both. In the meeting, it was also decided that reunions, ceremonies, and general social, political, cultural and community events should be conducted online, except in urgent situations, the release said. Precautions, including physical distancing, should be taken when conducting events with physical attendance and if possible, public meetings should be avoided, it said.
During the meeting, directions were also issued to the Department of Health and Education to ensure that vaccinations for students over the age of 15 are completed soon, the release said and added that the departments were considering carrying out vaccinations at educational institutions also.
The Chief Minister also said in the meeting that Kudumbasree elections and gram sabhas can be conducted by following COVID-19 norms like maintaining social distance and wearing masks. He also directed that the telemedicine system should be implemented as well and that awareness programs should be conducted in connection with Omicron, the release said.
Earlier in January, while announcing the restrictions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also announced that COVID-19 testing for international travellers will be ramped up, in view of the expected third wave of infections driven by the Omicron variant.