The government has permitted a few further relaxations a day after traders in Kozhikode protested the prolonged COVID-19 restrictions in Kerala. However, when the state’s unreduced Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is included, these are not significantly higher than the present allowances. While COVID-19 instances have been steadily falling in the rest of the country, the percentage of infected people in Kerala has been relatively stable for months.
Kerala Chief Secretary VP Joy issued further lockdown rules for the state on Wednesday morning, to be implemented on July 15.
The current classification of Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) will be maintained. The TPR recorded in a specific location is used to categorize the data. Exemptions and limits that are currently in place for the corresponding category will be maintained.
Shops in LSGI categories A, B, and C will be permitted to remain open until 8 p.m. on days when they have previously been permitted to do so (allowing a half an hour increase in closing time). After analyzing the TPR of the area, collectors in separate districts might define micro-containment zones and enforce particular limitations in categories.
Banks will be available to the public for transactions on all weekdays. On weekends, however, it will be closed to the public. Under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881, banks and other financial institutions will be closed on July 17, Saturday.
As on previous weekends, there will be complete lockdown on Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18.
On Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 cases surged again, despite a somewhat lower TPR of 9.14 the day before. On Tuesday, 14,539 cases were reported out of 1,39,049 samples analysed. This means that the TPR has risen above 10 once more, to 10.46. Authorities have identified targeted testing as one of the reasons for the stagnating TPR. Delay in achieving herd immunity has also been considered as a reason, as Kerala still has a large proportion of its population that is not infected with the coronavirus.