District Collector S. Gopalakrishnan has ordered the closing down of malls, gatherings on beaches and at other public places under the Disaster Management Act as part of steps to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Announcing the measures at a press conference here on Saturday, a day after two more cases were confirmed in the district, he said that an advisory will also be issued to commercial establishments involving personal contact, including gyms, ayurvedic massage centres, saloons and spas, to function only in unavoidable circumstances.
“All public gatherings have to be stopped. Functions like marriages should be conducted with the least number of guests possible. As for festivals, this is not the time to show our religious faith, rather it is the time to save ourselves and the community. We are not yet issuing a complete ban on gyms, massage centres and spas, due to livelihood concerns. But, an advisory will be issued to remain closed, if possible, and take all precautions in case they are functioning,” said the Collector.
He also requested the public in the district to avoid getting out of their houses unnecessarily. People in Varkala should take special care as the Italian tourist who tested positive for COVID-19 had spent around 15 days in the place, and had visited shops and restaurants in the area. His contact tracing is still being carried out.
“One thing we noticed in the case of people who were in home quarantine is that they were not fully in quarantine within their homes. They were in close contact with their family members. This should be avoided. The person who is suspected of being affected should spend the entire duration within a closed room. Food or other essential items should be left at the door. Real home quarantine is the best solution. Those who are returning from abroad should be in home quarantine for 28 days. As of now, the virus has not spread at the community level. So, we have to take all steps to arrest its spread,” said Mr. Gopalakrishnan.
Those who have mild cough or throat infection need not visit hospitals, but should remain within their houses. In case of any symptoms of the disease, they should contact the nearest primary health centre or community health centre or any Government hospital. The district collectorate’s control room (contact no – 1077) can also be contacted, as doctors have been posted for this purpose.
As on Friday night, 231 people are home quarantined in the district, while 18 others are in the various Government hospitals. Results of 70 samples are awaited.