Kerala government appeared hardpressed on Monday to further ease COVID-19 restrictions on social life, mobility and retail.
Kerala had recorded 12,100 new cases on Sunday. The average test positivity rate remained at a worrying high of 10.25 per cent. A Central team is here to study the situation.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is set to review pandemic control regulations at 11 a.m. The COVID-19 situation is also high on the agenda of the MPs conference chaired by Mr. Vijayan ahead of the monsoon session of the Parliament.
An official said any relaxation of COVID-19 limitations would hinge on a marked reduction in TPR. Moreover, the threat of a third wave driven by highly transmissible variants of the virus loomed.
The government is under duress from various sectors, including retail traders, hotels, and the entertainment industry, to open up rapidly.
The cinema fraternity has requested the administration to allow filming with a minimum number of crew and artists in studios and other indoor locations.
Car companies in Kerala could open only on alternate days on weekdays. No sales are allowed. The companies have reported a mounting backlog of vehicles for service and repair.
Citizens were finding it increasingly difficult to find a maintenance slot for their cars and two-wheelers. Vehicle repair person’s unions have requested the government to allow garages to open with fully vaccinated service workers on all weekdays. Car showrooms have approached the administration to permit them to resume minimum sales on select weekdays.
Other sectors cratered by the pandemic are also pressing the government for a speedier opening up of the economy. Electronic service centres and mobile phone showrooms have requested permission to open on all weekdays. Hairdressers and beautician’s associations, and unions of street food sellers have demanded the same.
Officials said district administrations in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kollam, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram were sceptical about dialling down the intensity of pandemic impelled curbs.
The daily number of new positive cases in the districts remained unyieldingly high above 1000, with Malappuram leading the pack. He said the figures could spike if the communities eased curbs on life prematurely.
The government has classified at least 90 local self-government jurisdictions as critical spread localities. The disease spread remained worryingly high in another 800 LSGIs.
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