Asks people to brace for a season of heavy rain and sea surges
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was on Wednesday non-committal about Kerala extending the lockdown beyond May 16. However, he seemed to hint that the option was on the table.
When pressed, Mr. Vijayan said the current pandemic situation held no prospect of sudden relief. There were some positive signs. Kerala had no clue whether the Central government would order a second national lockdown,he said.
Mr. Vijayan asked citizens to brace themselves for a period of heavy rain, sea surges and lightning. He said a low pressure over the Arabian sea could spill heavy rain over Kerala on May 14 and 15. The government has banned fishing off the coast of Kerala from May 12 midnight. Boats engaged in deep-sea fishery should make landfall immediately. Coastal folk should prepare themselves to move to relief camps at short notice.
People should be prepared for the inundation of low-lying areas. KSEB should ensure power outages do not affect the functioning of hospitals.
The Chief Minister had examined the State’s disaster preparedness. The administration has placed the Indian Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, BSF, CRPF, Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Health and Revenue authorities on alert for rapid deployment. The IAF has agreed to station a helicopter at Thiruvananthapuram for relief and rescue work.
Fire safety audit
Kerala would increase oxygen production. The Fire and Rescue Services Department would audit the usage of oxygen to ensure zero wastage. It would work in tandem with the PWD and Electrical Inspectorate to ensure fire safety at hospitals and First-Line Treatment Centres (FLTCs).
The government would support start-ups that focus on pulse oximeter production. It has asked Keltron to look into the matter. Local bodies should recruit more volunteers to manage FLTCs, he said.
The Chief Minister said the new government would swear in on May 20. The Left Democratic Front would take the final call on May 17. Mr. Vijayan refused to hazard a guess on the composition of the new Cabinet. However, he encouraged the media to speculate and apply its imagination.
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