The Kerala government has relaxed certain restrictions in the ongoing lockdown, allowing people to go for a walk in the morning and evening in public places, observing physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocol. Walking is allowed from 5 am to 7 am, and for those who prefer the evening, walking is allowed from 7 pm to 9 pm. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while announcing on May 29 that the pan-state lockdown will be extended till June 9, had mentioned a few relaxations. The state has been under lockdown since May 8 which has been extended phase by phase till June 9.
The order pertaining to the latest relaxations was issued on May 31. "All central and state government departments, including Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), corporations, autonomous organisations, commissions etc. may function with up to 50% of staff from June 7 onwards on a rotation basis," the order reads. However, in order to avoid misuse of the relaxations of lockdown restrictions, the following instructions are issued for strict compliance: While shops selling books are allowed, it shall be ensured that stationery shops remain closed. Only those who are making purchases for weddings, shall be allowed to physically visit textile, jewellery, and footwear shops, with wedding invitations as proof. Only home delivery is allowed for other purchasers. While industrial establishments and manufacturing centers are permitted to operate, the service sector shall be permitted to function with work-from-home employees only.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the COVID-19 test positivity rate (TPR) fell to 13.77%, with 12,300 people testing positive from 89,345 samples tested in the latest 24-hour period. Incidentally, it is the first time in a month that the TPR fell below 15%. But despite the fall in the TPR, the number of deaths continue to be high, with 174 fatalities reported on May 31, taking the total death toll to 8,815. The total number of active cases stands at 2,06,982, as per an official statement issued on May 31. The latest bulletin also reported that 28,867 people tested negative, taking the total number of recovered people in the state to 23.10 lakh. Across the state, there were 7.88 lakh people under observation at various places which includes 38,377 people at hospitals. There are 885 hotspots in the state as per the latest bulletin.
(With ANI inputs)