September 2020
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Kerala News
Police to be given responsibility of contact tracing&enforcing quarantine protocols
Thiruvananthapuram: With Covid cases in Kerala continuing to rise, especially infections through contacts, the Kerala government on Monday decided to bring in stringent measures to contain the spread and entrusted police with the task of contact tracing and enforcing quarantine protocols. Of the 962 fresh cases reported on Monday, 801 had got infected through contacts. The total Covid tally has touched 26,867 while the death toll has climbed to 84 with two more fatalities. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters here that Kerala now has 11,484 people under treatment now and 15,282 have recovered.

Changes have also been made in containment zone criteria with present ward wise containment zones being changed. The accommodation of positive patients, their primary and secondary contacts would be traced and marked as containment zones and stringent restrictions enforced in these areas, he said. With cases increasing due to local transmission, police have been tasked with pinpointing and marking containment zones to help Collectors and the district disaster management authority. District police chiefs will provide necessary help to the Collectors in this regard,he said.

Police would take stringent steps to ensure that quarantine and social distancing norms are followed not only in containment zones, but also in vegetable and fish markets, homes where weddings and deaths have occurred and in big business establishments. The task of tracing the primary and secondary contacts of the positive patients has also fallen on the shoulders of the police personnel, who will take them to hospitals or quarantine centres. In each police station, a team headed by a Sub-Inspector would be given this charge, the Chief Minister said. "Presently, the contact list of positive patients is prepared by health inspectors.

Taking into consideration the present spread of the disease, that responsibilityis being vested with police", he said, adding that the primary and secondary contacts of the positive person will have to be traced by police in 24 hours. Kochi city police commissioner IG Vijay Sakhare has been appointed as state level police nodal officer, who will give necessary instructions to district police chiefs. The Chief Minister also said there has been some laxity in the vigil,which has led to the number of cases shooting up. People were crowding at various places, which in turn sent a wrong message that there was no need to maintain social distancing norms. "We have to accept the lapses and move forward and put up a united fight against the pandemic", Vijayan said.

The worst affected Thiruvananthapuram district which has 3,423 patients, has 13 large clusters, including at Poonthura, Pulvilla, Puthukurichyand Beemapally. In Ernakulam district, in Aluva and west Kochi, the spread of the virus is hugeand a lockdown has been imposed in west Kochi. So far 7,03,977 people, including 2,69,486 from abroad, have returned to Kerala after the lockdown was lifted and 3,672 have tested positive . Cases have been registered against 761 people for lockdown violations and 642 were arrested and 147 vehicles seized. As many as 5,026 cases of not wearing masks were reported from the state on Monday, a police press release said.

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