With active COVID-19 cases in Kerala starting to show a decline over the past few days, the State Government on Friday decided to start offline classes for students from Monday, February 7. "The classes for 10, 11 and 12th standards and college students will begin from February 7. The classes for children from standard 1 to 9, creche and kindergarten will start from February 14," a release issued by the Chief Minister's Office said. The decision was taken at the COVID-19 evaluation meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The COVID-19 cases in Kerala registered a dip on Thursday with the state recording 42,677 new infections which raised the caseload to 61,72,432. The southern state had reported 52,199 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Active cases went down to 3,69,073 on February 3 from 3,77,823.
The evaluation meeting also took a decision to test the non-resident Keralites and foreign passengers travelling to Kerala only if they have symptoms. The meeting has also decided against overcharging for rapid tests at airports and directions in this regard were issued to the health department.
The number of devotees at all religious institutions has been limited to 20.
"A total of 200 persons will be allowed for Pongala at the Attukal temple. The rest of the people should offer the Pongala at their residences," the release said.
The health department has completed vaccination of 72 per cent of children in the age group of 15-18, while the second dose has been administered to 85 per cent of the targeted population, according to the release.
The government had earlier imposed restrictions at a district level on the basis of the number of COVID affected people admitted to hospitals and authorised the Disaster Management Authority to divide the districts into three groups, A, B and C.
Currently, only Kollam district is in the ‘C’ category — where there will be highest restrictions. While Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad and Kannur districts are in the ‘B’ category, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts are in the A category. Kasaragod does not fall under any such categories.
In districts falling under ‘A’ category, social, cultural, religious, political and public events and weddings and funerals can be attended by up to 50 people. No such gatherings will be allowed in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ category districts. In such areas, religious worship should be conducted online only and a maximum of 20 people will be allowed for weddings and funerals. Movie theatres, swimming pools and gyms are not allowed to function in the C category districts.