Police removing people who came to celebrate New Year at Kovalam beach after 10 pm on Thursday | Photo: S. Sreekesh|Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The New Year celebrations in the state were a low key affair as the state police imposed strict guidelines regarding the same.
The health department had already issued guidelines to organise celebrations adhering to strict Covid protocol. With the state showing a steady surge of Covid positive cases after the local body elections, the government is not taking any risks.
The state police have issued orders to end all the celebrations by 10 p.m. and this has not gone down well with the people of the state.
On condition of anonymity, a senior health department official told IANS, "There is an increase in the number of Covid cases in the state and local body polls have added to this. We need to conduct maximum number of tests and we know that several people are allowing themselves the luxury of not adhering to Covid protocol. This has to be objected and opposed."
On the strict orders of the state police, Mithun George, a student activist, said, "It is very unfortunate that the state police have brought in such an order. People were planning for the celebrations from last few months. Now, it needs to be seen that how people are going to celebrate the New Year."
"2020 was a year of misery and darkness and we were rearing for a grand New Year celebrations, now all that has gone. If you are finishing off your celebration by 10 p.m., what can you do," he added.
Director General of Police, Kerala, Loknath Behera said the police have not put any dampner to the New Year celebrations and instead is being cautious.
With the state opening bars, liquor outlets and the tourism spots, there was a surge in the arrival of tourists to the state and people were in the mood to celebrate New Year.