As coronavirus cases rise in Kerala, the state police have been made responsible for the tracing of primary and secondary contacts of an infected person -- a crucial step in the containment strategy of the state government.
"Tracing primary and secondary contacts is crucial. That's a direct responsibility of the police... A team under Sub Inspectors will function for this. Presently this is being done by health inspectors. But keeping in mind the extent of spread, this is being given to the police," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today.
"The contacts need to be traced within 24 hours," the Chief Minister said.
Besides ensuring quarantine rules on the ground, the police have also been tasked to strictly enforce social distancing in areas where crowding is expected.
Containment zones in Kerala -- drawn on basis of the active cases as well as their contacts -- will now not be implemented at the ward or division level.
Instead, they will be a localised area determined by the physical presence of primary and secondary contacts.
"Instead of a ward, it could be a part of the area that would be a containment zone. There will be strict enforcement of regulations in the zones," Mr Vijayan said.
Kerala, according to sources, is gearing up for a surge in COVID-19 cases between August and September, expecting 50,000 to 75000 cases.
The state currently has 26,873 cases, 83 people have died.
Speaking to NDTV last week, the state's Health Minister KK Shailaja said: "Kerala's focus is to ensure low Case Fatality Rate and despite workers on the ground being tired, we have been ramping our facilities, recruiting more people, doing extensive contact tracing and cluster management as cases are expected to rise further."