Large gatherings have been banned in Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram till October 31 after a surge in coronavirus cases. The state reported 9,258 positive cases on Friday, the highest single-day spike. With 4,092 recoveries, the state also saw the highest recoveries in a day.
While more than five people are not allowed to gather in public places in Kerala from October 3 onwards, in Thiruvananthapuram, strict regulations for gatherings even in private places have been put into place.
Within containment zones, any gathering or event involving over five people are not allowed, except weddings or funerals, where up to 20 people can attend.
Outside containment zones, not more than five people are allowed at one time in a group at public places.
"All indoor gatherings such as social, cultural, political, academic, religious and inaugural functions shall be limited to 20 participants including prayers and funerals," the government said in an order. However, weddings have been allowed with a gathering of 50 people.
Public transport, government institutions, commercial establishments, industries and hospitals can work fully keeping social-distancing and break-the-chain protocols. All exams that were announced before October 2 will be conducted as per schedule by following strict safety guidelines.
Thiruvananthapuram district collector Navjot Khosa's order said, "It has been made to appear to me that further surge in COVID-19 positive cases is imminent in spite of best collective efforts of all departments and if strict prohibitions are not put in place, it will seriously endanger human lives in large numbers."
"The requirement for certain general restrictions particularly in gatherings and strict implementation of COVID-19 protocols including social distancing is highly essential and urgent to manage the pandemic situation of COVID-19 in the district," the order said.
Earlier, an order issued by Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta had said district magistrates can assess the ground situation in their districts and use the relevant provisions and orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure control the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, as part of its "Unlock5" plan, the centre had said schools and colleges, shut since March as lockdown was announced across the country, will be allowed to re-open from October 15.
The final call, however, has been left to the states and the institutions involved. Online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, the centre said.
The government also gave a go-ahead to cinema halls, multiplexes, and exhibition halls, but their reopening will be tempered with certain restrictions.
India added 81,484 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, taking its tally near the 64 lakh-mark, government data showed this morning. A total of 1,095 deaths linked to the virus were reported in the same period, the data showed. The country now has 63,94,068 cases. Of this, 9.4 lakh are active cases.