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Coronavirus update: Home Ministry objects to Kerala's easing of lockdown

The MHA said that Kerala's steps amounted to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 20, 2020 | Updated 18:48 IST
Coronavirus update: Home Ministry objects to Kerala's easing of lockdown
People purchase electrical items at a showroom on the opening day of a once in a week market, during ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Kozhikode

The central government has taken strong objection to the Kerala government's decision of opening restaurants, MSME industries, and allowing intrastate bus travel. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that Kerala's guidelines on lockdown contradicted the central government's "April 15th revised guidelines on lockdown".

The government of Kerala has allowed the opening of local workshops, barbershops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, private vehicles' movement. The state government has implemented odd-even scheme for private vehicles. Dine-in services at hotels and restaurants are allowed until 7 pm.

Also read: Coronavirus Lockdown Relaxation Live Updates: MHA warns states against curfew violations; cases tally-17,265

The MHA said that Kerala's steps amounted to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005.


"Governemnt of Kerala has allowed opening of activities, prohibited under Consolidated Revised Guidelines on Lockdown 2 measures, issued by MHA on 15.04.2020 to fight COVID-19," Home ministry said in a tweet. It added, " This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by MHA and violation of MHA Order dated 15th April 2020 issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005". The MHA has urged Government of Kerala to revise guidelines in line with MHA guidelines, without any dilution and ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures.

Meanwhile, Kerala government is reconsidering relaxations in lockdown. The state government might review dine in facility at hotels, saloons and allowing pillion riders in two wheelers. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to announce the amendments in the relaxation measures on Monday's press briefing.

The southern state had announced a relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in two zones from April 20. The relaxations of restrictions imposed would come into effect in the Green and Orange zones in the state from today.

Earlier, the state government had divided its 14 districts into four colours- Red, Green, Orange-A and Orange-B to track the impact of coronavirus across the state.  Red zone included -- Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. In this zone, a complete lockdown will remain until May 3. Only two entry and exit points have been allowed here for carrying essential commodities.

Orange-A zone comprises Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Kollam while Orange-B zone comprises Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Wayanad. The lockdown will be in effect until April 24 in this zone and then partial relaxation will be allowed.

Kottayam and Idukki are the districts under the Green zone. Here, the state government has relaxed restrictions. However, large gatherings, the functioning of educational institutions, religious functions, celebrations and travel outside the district will not be allowed in this zone. Not more than 20 people are allowed to take part in weddings and funerals, according to government instructions.

Kerala has reported 402 confirmed cases of coronavirus and only 3 deaths as of April 20, (9 AM), according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Also read: Coronavirus crisis: Gujarat pharma companies ramp up Hydroxycloroquine production

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