COVID-19 | Relaxations allowed amount to dilution of guidelines, Centre tells Kerala

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Kerala government’s decision to allow resumption of certain activities which are prohibited by the Ministry of Home Affairs “amounts to dilution” of the guidelines, the Centre told the state government today.

In a letter to Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has asked the state government to rectify the guidelines and ensure strict compliance of measures.

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On April 17, the Kerala government had circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures to all Departments, District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other Heads of Departments in state.

Under these revised guidelines, the Kerala government had allowed opening of activities which are prohibited by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The activities that have now been allowed by Kerala government include opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for distances up to 60 kms, two passengers in back seat of four wheelers and pillion riding on scooters.

“This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the MHA and violation of MHA order dated 15th April, 2020 issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the Union Home Secretary has written.

Kerala currently has a total of 402 confirmed Covid-19 cases in all of which 270 patients have already been cured. The state has witnessed three deaths so far because of the virus. Since the first three cases in India were reported from Kerala, the southernmost state has been credited with flattening the curve to a great extent by effectively containing the spread of the virus.

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