The District Collector said that strict control measures over public congregations are needed for containing the spread of COVID-19 as the healthcare system is struggling to keep up with the surge.

A Covid -19 ward with health workers wearing personal protection kitImage for Representation
Coronavirus Covid-19 Friday, April 23, 2021 - 19:39

Malappuram district administration imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. This prohibits the gathering of five or more people at any time in a public place. The restrictions will be in force in all parts of the district between 9 pm and 5 am. The restrictions came to place on Wednesday and will be in place until further orders.

The order signed by District Collector K Gopalakrishnan states, "The second wave of COVID-19 has fanned out in various parts of Malappuram district, putting major population under threat. It has been made to appear that more than 2776 positive cases are being reported in the district on a daily basis with a Test Positivity Rate (TPR) of more than 20 per cent in the District."

TPR is the number of people tested positive for the novel coronavirus out of the total number of samples tested.

"Whereas it has also been made to appear that in the face of unmanageable surge, the health system in the district may be overwhelmed leading to high mortality, if all possible steps to check the surge," the order further reads. The Collector in his order also noted that strict control measures over public congregations and gatherings are needed for containing the spread of the disease as the health care system is struggling to keep up with the surge. “It is important to impose strict regulations in order to reduce the pace of the spread and thus reduce the load on the health infrastructure and services to reduce fatality,” it states.

In March, the TPR in Malappuram was below 5% and has now increased to 23.17%. The TPR in some of the local government bodies, panchayat, block panchayats and grama panchayats, even crossed more than 40%. Section 144 has been ordered as the state government has authorized district administrations and district disaster management authority to invoke necessary restrictions to prevent the spread of the epidemic under the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020.

As per the order, festivals and other religious ceremonies are to be conducted without public participation while government offices, banks and public transport will function normally by strictly following COVID-19 protocols.

The state has imposed night restrictions from April 20 between 9 pm to 5 am while only essential services are allowed on Saturday and Sunday. 

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