Omicron: Night curfew in Kerala from Dec 30

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Thiruvananthapuram: In view of the sharp rise in Omicron cases, the Kerala government has announced a night curfew in the state. The curfew will come into force from December 30 and will be in force from 10 pm to 5 am.

As per the order, the night curfew will continue till January 2.Crowding and unnecessary journeys will be strictly restricted.

The state is put on high alert after Omicron cases touched 57 on Sunday.

With the implementation of night curfew, no crowding will be allowed for New Year celebrations. Police officials will be deployed for vehicle inspection to find the people who roam around unnecessarily from 10 pm-5 am. Strict action will be taken against those who violate the restrictions.

New year celebrations will not be allowed after 10 pm on December 31. Hotels, restaurants and bars will be allowed to function with 50 percent seating capacity.

Sectoral magistrates assisted by police officials will be deployed in beaches, shopping malls and public parks during New Year eve. More police personnel will be deployed to execute the night curfew related restrictions.

The decision to impose restrictions at night -- from 10 PM to 5 AM -- from December 30 to January 2 was taken in a COVID review meeting presided over by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, a state government release said.

Directions were issued by the Chief Minister to the Health Department to take steps to vaccinate the deserving persons with booster shots from January 3 and to distribute, free of cost, to the public the ayurvedic or homeopathic medicines which would help to enhance their immunity, the release said.

CM also directed that measures against the Omicron variant be intensified in view of its numbers rising to 57 in the state.

Since the new variant spreads three to five times faster than the Delta version of COVID-19, Omicron was likely to increase the number of coronavirus cases leading to a third wave, he said and added that measures were being taken to deal with it.

Highlighting the steps being taken by the government to deal with a third wave, the CM, in the release, said that more and more medicines, beds and syringes were being procured and district Collectors have been directed to ensure that all oxygen-producing hospitals increase their production and storage of oxygen in view of the possibility of an increase in the number of COVID-19 victims by the end of January 2022.

The district Collectors were also directed to implement more genetic sequencing tests in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts where the number of Omicron patients are high, the release said.

(With added inputs from PTI)

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