Lockdown further extended to June 9

Govt. will progressively ease curbs to allow some key sectors to survive: CM

The government on Saturday extended the Statewide lockdown till June 9.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the COVID-19 spread had lessened. However, it had not reached the point where the administration could roll back the lockdown.

The government has eased triple lockdown restrictions in Malappuram district following a marked reduction in the test positivity rate (TPR) rate. But State-wide lockdown regulations would prevail in the district.

Mr. Vijayan said 25 panchayats in Malappuram lacked fair price hotels or community kitchens. The district administration should address the need urgently. “The matter is serious,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said the government would progressively ease restrictions to allow some key sectors to survive. Banks could remain open till 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Textile shops, jewellery and footwear showrooms “catering to weddings” could do business till 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Academic bookshops could follow the exact timetable.

The government allowed toddy shops to give parcels. Mr. Vijayan did not set a date for the resumption of the sale of legal liquor.

The Chief Minister said those who received PSC advice for joining service could do so if their concerned department was working. If not, the government would extend the last date for entering service.

The State government would remove the proviso that health authorities would send vaccination certificates only to Aadhaar-linked mobile phones. Mr. Vijayan said the lockdown would be particularly intense in 212 local body jurisdictions where the TPR rate was higher than 30.

Coir and cashew industries could function with minimal employees (less than 50% of the workforce at a time). Raw material suppliers could open for business till 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

He said the State had kept the pandemic at bay and avoided the harrowing situation faced by residents in several other States.

However, it was too premature to withdraw the lockdown and enter the “un-lockdown” phase. Lifting the lockdown restriction would hinge on a further lessening of the spread.

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