Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases and in view of approaching festivals, Kerala has decided to implement new guidelines from Wednesday and enforce "special intensified stringent" lockdown restrictions in the panchayats or urban wards wherein Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR) is above 8.
The government has also decided that all senior citizens above 60 years of age who have not received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine shall be vaccinated before August 15.
"All bedridden patients above 18 years of age to be identified and vaccinated by August 15. District Collectors will coordinate with Health Department for planning vaccination," the government said.
For Sabarimala pilgrimage and darshan from August 15, the government notification said a maximum of 15,000 devotees per day will be permitted and virtual queue registration will continue for crowd management.
However, in view of upcoming festivals like Muharram, Onam, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Pooja, the Kerala government said all persons are allowed to undertake certain essential activities.
"It is clarified that those who are yet to receive COVID-19 vaccination or cannot take the vaccine due to drug allergy or other ailments, can move out of their homes for essential activities like purchase of food items, including grocery, milk, meat, fish etc. if there are no other persons in the household belonging to point," the notification said.
"If they are required to visit shops they shall be given priority service by the traders. Traders and LSGIs concerned shall give special attention to these categories of persons and ensure home delivery of essential items," it added.