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Lockdown fails in Kerala to keep people indoor

Lockdown fails in Kerala to keep people indoor
IndiaIndia2 min read
Thiruvananthapuram, Even as Kerala has so far reported 91 coronavirus positive cases and over 63,000 persons under medical observation, the Kerala government's state-wide lockdown on Tuesday failed to keep many residents indoors.

A senior Minister warned of strict action in case such people refused to obey government orders.

In the morning hours, scores of people were out on the roads, forcing police to act tough with them.

At Kollam, people were seen visiting religious places while the lockdown was not taken seriously by residents of Thrissur, where maximum number of people under observation reside.

Even in Alappuzha -- which is yet to report any positive case, life appeared almost normal, with numerous vehicles plying on the roads.

State Local Bodies Minister A.C. Moideen, who hails from Thrissur, said that for some reason, the government directives appear not to have sunk in in public mind.

"I spoke to the district authorities. The need of the hour is self-restraint. W are sure that soon people will realise the need to remain indoors," said Moideen.

A peeved Devasoms Minister Kadakampally Surendran expressed displeasure over the people's act of venturing out.

"I'm at a loss to find this out and do not know why people do not understand the need to remain indoors as the coming two weeks will be very crucial for the state. If this continues, then we will have no other option but to act tough against those who break the law," said Surendran, a resident of the state capital.

Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty, who is overseeing Kollam district, said that the general idea was that Kasargode should observe a total shutdown.

"In other districts, the idea was to regulate normal life as we just cannot afford a total shutdown. Our state has a large informal sector, where people have to work daily to meet their needs. At Kollam, we don't have any positive case and we are cautious to keep it this way," said Mercykutty.

On Monday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a state-wide lockdown till March 31, except shops selling essential items, fuel stations, banks, and state-owned retail liquor outlets.

On Tuesday morning, angry BJP activists protested against the opening of a liquor outlet at Palakkad.

Meanwhile, Vijayan is expected to come up with stricter norms to enforce the lockdown in the coastal state.