Kerala announces 4-day night curfew from December 30

The curfew will be in place from 10 pm to 5 am.
MG Road in Thiruvananthapuram wears a deserted look during COVID-induced lockdown
MG Road in Thiruvananthapuram wears a deserted look during COVID-induced lockdown
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The Kerala government has announced a night curfew across the state from Thursday, December 30 to Sunday, January 2, 2022. The curfew will be in place from 10 pm to 5 am. Shops and establishments have been instructed to close at 10 pm. The Kerala government has asked citizens to avoid unnecessary travel and not gather in public without cause.

The Kerala government on Monday directed that New Year celebrations shall not continue after 10 PM on December 31. During a COVID-19 review meeting presided over by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, it was decided that New Year's celebrations would not be allowed after 10 PM on December 31 and the seating capacity in bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants and eateries will remain at 50%, a release said.

Asserting that the Omicron variant is at least thrice more transmissible than Delta, the Union government had last week asked the states and union territories to "activate" war rooms, keep analyzing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at district and local levels.

In a letter to the states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had advised implementing strategic interventions for containment like imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals besides increasing testing and surveillance.

The letter highlights measures that need to be taken in view of initial signs of surge in cases of COVID-19 as well as increased detection of the variant of concern Omicron in different parts of the country.

"At the district level there should be constant review of emerging data regarding the population affected by COVID-19, geographical spread, hospital infrastructure and its utilization, manpower, notifying containment zones, enforcement of perimeter of containment zones etc. This evidence should be the basis for effective decision making at the district level itself.

After the Union government's advisory, multiple states like Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc have imposed night curfew.

Meanwhile, on December 26,19 more people tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Kerala, taking the total number of infections by the new variant in the state to 57, the Health Department said on Sunday. Of the 19 cases, 11 were detected in Ernakulam, six in Thiruvananthapuram and one each in Thrissur and Kannur. Of the 19, four each had come from the UK and UAE, two each from Qatar and Ireland and one each from Spain, Canada, Netherlands and Ghana, a Health Department release said. The remaining three got infected via contact.

The department advised everyone to be extra vigilant in view of the rise in Omicron cases in the State. It also said that everyone should wear masks properly, follow social distancing protocols and those not vaccinated yet, should get the jabs immediately.

Besides that, the department also said those coming from abroad should strictly abide by the quarantine norms, people coming from other states should exercise caution and on noticing symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately inform health workers. 

With PTI inputs

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