Days after its neighbouring state Karnataka imposed strict restrictions on vehicular movements amid the second wave of Covid-19 cases across India, Kerala too has taken similar measures to curb the spread of the virus. The state government has issued order to restrict vehicle movements in a lockdown-like manner seen last year.
The restrictions imposed by the Kerala government is for 48 hours. During this period, only vehicles carrying people involved in essential and emergency services will be allowed to ply on roads.
The police force has started to carry out intense vehicle check across the state since early this morning to ensure that nobody ventured out on roads and public places unnecessarily. Kerala police personnel were seen checking two-wheelers and four-wheelers today as they verified the identity cards and mandatory self-declaration to know purpose of travel.
The Kerala Police has assured that no one will be stopped if the person is found to be travelling for needy and genuine reasons. The exception has been made as a lot of people are rushing to hospitals as cases continue to rise as well as casualties due to the second Covid-19 wave. On Friday, India recorded 3,46,786 new cases in the last 24 hours. 28,447 out of these new cases were reported from Kerala, its highest single day surge so far.
Kerala Police has also warned that anyone found travelling without an acceptable reason and violating the government restrictions and Covid-19 protocols will slapped with heavy fine.
The state government has allowed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses to operate, but the number of passengers was too few in most parts of the state due to virus scare. A case was registered against a private taxi cab for overcrowding and violating the Covid protocols in Kochi.
While the restrictions will continue over the weekend, Kerala may witness a longer spell of such lockdown-like restrictions next week. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said further restrictions would be discussed at an all-party meeting on Monday.