Coronavirus cases in Kerala at 222 as government announces home delivery of alcohol to those with withdrawal symptoms

Passengers locked out after the train services were suspended due to the spread of Covid-19 in Kerala BCCL

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced home delivery of alcohol as reports of alcoholics with withdrawal symptoms come in with the state under lockdown.
  • 45 people from the state attended the religious gathering at Nizamuddin in Delhi on March 13.
  • Kerala is India's second worst hit state with 222 active Coronavirus cases and 2 deaths so far.
  • A 68-year old was the second to die from Coronavirus on March 31 in the state.
  • Kerala reported its first death from Coronavirus on March 28.
  • Despite the restrictionson religious institutions, a priest and nine others — including two nuns — were booked for hosting a mass gathering, which violates the lock down norms.
  • Follow the comprehensive coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic in India on Business Insider India.
Along with the Coronavirus crisis, Kerala is also facing another emergency with liquor shops shutting without leaving alcoholics without reprieve. Reports of suicides from different parts of state cite have started to emerge. To stop the situation from getting out of control, the government has allowed the home delivery of alcohol. According to the guidelines, liquor shops will be allowed to delivery 3 litres of alcohol to individuals exhibiting withdrawal symptoms.

Earlier the government had directed doctors to write prescriptions for alcohol, however, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) pointed out that this may erode a patient's right to treatment.

Total casesActive confirmed casesRecoveredDead

45 people from 6 different districts in Kerala have been found to have attended the religious gathering at Nizamuddin in Delhi. It is yet to be determined if any of them have tested positive for Covid-19.

Kerala reported its second death from the Coronavirus on March 31, taking the toll to two. A 68-year old man who had tested positive for Covid-19 passed away due to kidney failure, according to the Medical Superintendent at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala reported its first fatality from the Coronavirus pandemic on March 28. A 69-year man from Mattancherry died at the Kalamassery Government Hospital in Ernakulam. He had flown in from Dubai on March 17 and tested positive for the infection when he was admitted on March 22 with symptoms of pneumonia.

The state was the first to report a positive case of Covid-19 in India.

Police march down the steets of Thiruvananthapuram during the Coronavirus lock downBCCL

Lock down creates border issues between Kerala and Karnataka
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is not happy about Kerala's neighbouring state, Karnataka, sealing off its borders and not leaving room for any essential supplies to get in.

Hundreds of trucks laden with vegetables and essential food items are stuck at the border of the two states since March 26.

Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to intervene "in the matter of blocking Thalassery-Coorg state highways by the Karnataka police."

Karnataka informed the Kerala High Court that it will be difficult to lift the blockade in view of the lockdown to cater to the needs of patients.

Relief for migrant workers in Kerala
With the state under lock down and its borders sealed off, Vijayan has set up 4,603 relief camps for the migrant workers from other states, according to the Mint. The camps already catering to the needs of 1.4 lakh migrant workers and more educational institutions will be converted going forward. These camps have been supplied with soaps, masks, sanitisers and other essential goods.

The tribals who used to work as daily wage workers in coffee plantations in Kodagu and Kerala are now in distress. With coronavirus positive cases reported in the regions, the plantations have shut closed for the tribal leaving them in trouble.BCCL

Vijayan told reporters that it was the responsibility of local self government institutions to make sure that that the lock down doesn't make people hungry. They will conduct a survey to identify the most vulnerable sections of society so that assistance can be provided.

Minister Kadakampally Surendran inugurating the food distribution to the homeless organised by Kerala Police at Putharikandam Maidan in Thiruvananthapuram BCCL

However, hundreds of migrant workers were spotted roaming the streets in Changanassery looking for any vehicle that could give them a lift home. “If a special train is arranged for their travel, we will facilitate their travel,” Kerala tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran told reporters.

Baljith Singh, a truck driver from UP stuck in Kochi National Highway due to the 21 day long national lockdown, baths on the highway side at Kalamassery BCCL

Religious places close their doors
On March 28, religious leaders in the state issued a joint statement to the press stating, "To curb the spread of the virus, we are enforced certain restrictions on entry to pilgrim centers. We're fighting this menace by highlighting the concern of others."

The Travancore Devaswon Board (TDB) has cancelled all religious festivals in Kerala. This includes the Sabarmila Temple festival which was scheduled to take place on March 29 has also been cancelled.

Despite the restrictions, a priest and nine others — including two nuns — were booked in Mananthavady for hosting a mass gathering on Sunday, March 29.

Kerala goes under lock down
Ahead of Prime Minister Modi's 21-day nationwide lock down, the state had also already implemented its own restrictions. However, many residents were not staying indoors. The movement of people has been restricted except those individual delivering essential services.

Despite Section 144 being imposed, liquor stores and outlets were still open for business. Now, the government of Kerala has now ordered them to shut down.

Inspection with the help of drone at coastal areas near Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram started by PoliceBCCL

Services like hotels and restaurants were already voluntarily shutting down because there’s been a drastic drop in customers, according to a report in The Hindu. Some are also being forced to lay-off workers due to uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a state-wide lockdown on March 23. All state borders will be closed and all operation of public transportation has been suspended. It will be enforced till March 31. All shops, other than pharmacies, will be only be allowed to remain open between 7:00am to 5:00 pm.

Fire and rescue officials sanitizing Rajaji Nagar in Thiruvananthapuram BCCL

Too much or too little?
The jury is split on whether Kerala is doing enough. Supporters say that the state’s decentralised healthcare system has already done a lot to tackle the problem. Even though it was one of the first states to report the pandemic, it’s also leading in the charge to keep the infection from spreading.

On the other hand, critics are frowning upon the government for not following the central government’s advice to implement a full lockdown across the state immediately.

So far 8,311 cases have been registered against individuals for violating the terms of the lock down and over 2,000 vehicles have been seized.

See also:
Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu news and updates

Coronavirus cases in Haryana news and updates

Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra news and updates
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