Ahead of counting day for the Assembly polls on May 2, the Kerala government has issued a series of restrictions and regulations on the movement of people on May 1 and 2 in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The order announcing the restrictions was issued by the state Disaster Management Department on Friday, April 30.
As per the rules, only officials on election duty, candidates, counting agents and media representatives will be allowed at the counting centres. Amid restrictions on gatherings, election-related counting arrangements, as well as essential and emergency services are exempted.
All state and Union government offices and their autonomous bodies, corporations etc dealing with emergency and essential services and COVID-19-related duties will be functional. The other departments, that don't fall under the essential service category, shall work with essential staff only.
"The surge in COVID-19 cases in the state is continuing in most districts in spite of various containment measures. The bed occupancy and demand for oxygen in health facilities have increased considerably. The Health Department has indicated that more stringent restrictions are needed over a longer period of time instead of weekend restrictions to control the upswing in COVID-19 cases across the state and to decrease the rising caseload so that the health system can cope up with the active cases," the order reads.
Here's a list of what allowed during the weekend:
> All industries, companies and organisations dealing with emergency and essential services and requiring operations round the clock shall be permitted to operate.
> Oxygen technicians, health care, and sanitation personnel shall be allowed to move with a valid identity card.
> Patients and their attendants or persons having emergency needs and eligible people intending to take vaccination shall be allowed movement with valid identity proof.
> Restaurant and eateries shall be allowed only to cater to parcel and home delivery and shall be closed by 9 pm.
> Long-distance bus services, trains and air travel.
> Public transport, goods carriage vehicles and private vehicles, auto-rickshaws and taxis to and from airports, railway stations, bus terminals, hospitals and health care centres.
> Marriages will be allowed with a maximum of 50 persons, and those house warming ceremonies registered under the Jagratha portal. Funerals will be allowed with a maximum of 20 persons.
> Ration shops.
> All primary sector activities.