Hours after receiving the objection letter from the Union Home Ministry (MHA), the Kerala government has decided to amend its lockdown relaxation guidelines.
However, Kerala chief secretary said the state had consulted the MHA before releasing the previous guidelines that allowed some additional activities to function.
State chief secretary said as per the revised guidelines, Barber shops and hotels will not be allowed to open in the state. While barbers can go to people’s homes for service, online delivery for food and other essentials will remain functional until 9:00pm, Times of India reported.
Earlier, the Kerala government, in an order passed on 17 April, had decided to partially lift the lockdown allowing opening of restaurants, private vehicles on an odd-even basis, bus travel within the city, and functioning of MSME industries in municipal areas, book shows, and barber shops among others in some select districts.
The move, however, did not go down well with the union government. Centre, registering strong objection to the decision, accused the Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan-led government of “diluting” the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs
In a letter to the state government, the MHA said the state government on April 17 “has circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures which allowed opening of activities which are prohibited in the Centre's consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15”.
“Such additional activities allowed by the government of Kerala, include opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four wheeler and pillion riding on scooters,” it added.
Kerala’s Vijayan government, in the earlier issued guidelines, had divided the state into four zones -- Red, Orange A, Orange B and Green -- to reopen Kerala swiftly. While the Red zone is to remain completely shut with hotspots sealed, other zones are to have the above mentioned activities restarting.
As per the letter, districts in zone Orange A would have these relaxations fro 24 April. The other two zones would be allowed to function as per the guidelines from Monday (20 April), the order said.
The state, after an initial outbreak however, has managed to contain the outbreak effectively with dropping the number of daily reported cases to single digit. The state has also done well in curing patients at an effective pace.
The total cases in the state stand at 407, out of which 291 have recovered, while only two people have lost their lives.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.