Due to Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid), which falls on July 21, the Kerala government has decided to ease some COVID-19 restrictions from July 18-20. It is important to note that the government has opted to maintain a complete weekend lockdown and the 3-day period is only an exception for Bakrid.
According to new regulations, all textile, footwear, electrical, and jewellery stores in the state will be open until 8 p.m. On Monday, stores in areas under triple lockdown will be permitted to reopen. During the festival, a maximum of 40 people will be allowed in worship locations, according to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also stated that at least one dosage of immunisation is required.
This applies to local self-governing (LSG) bodies in the A, B, and C categories, according to the government notification. The average Test Positivity Rate (TPR) for the last seven days has been used to reclassify the LSG bodies. LSGs with a TPR of less than 6 percent are classified as ‘A,’ while those with a TPR of 6-12 percent are classified as ‘B.’ LSGs with a TPR of 12-18 percent will be classified as ‘C,’ while those with a TPR of greater than 18 percent would be classified as ‘D.’
The move has invited criticism from BJP who is slamming the Kerala government for the decision. According to Union Minister and BJP leader V Muraleedharan, the Pinarayi Vijayan government is not taking a scientific strategy to limit COVID-19 and enforce lockdown.
“Now the Bakrid has come, the government has announced a three-day exception for the lockdown… My suggestion is to follow the scientific approach and follow the guidelines of the Government of India, ICMR guidelines and WHO. Do not utilise the pandemic as means of having political benefit out of it,” Murleedharan told ANI.
On Friday (July 16), Kerala recorded at least 13,750 new cases of infection and 130 deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 31,30,833 and the death count to 15,155, with a positive rate of 10.55 percent in the last 24 hours.