Forces mobilised to enforce pandemic code

The State government has mobilised uniformed services, including the voluntary State Civil Defence Force, to help the police enforce the pandemic code.

Forest, Excise and Fire and Rescue Department officials joined police officers on the road to enforce the mask and physical distancing mandate, discourage unessential travel and prevent crowds.

An official said the deployment was likely to continue through the week, suggesting that the COVID-19 restrictions were likely to continue given the upward spiral in cases. In hotspots, District Magistrates commandeered the services of government employees, including teachers, to assist COVID-19 management.

At border check-posts, the police insisted on COVID-19 negative certificates for persons entering the State. They have stepped up vigil at the borders given the worrying pandemic situation in neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. (Tamil Nadu is entering a lockdown phase on Monday).

However, the police have not restricted the cross border movement of ambulances or patients going for medical appointments to hospitals in neighbouring States. They also facilitated the rapid movement of freight.

Sunday saw a flow of vehicles in the morning. In Thiruvananthapuram, a police official said many motorists said they were headed for weddings of close relatives. However, the movement of vehicles tapered off to a trickle in the afternoon.

Elected local body members formed squads to tour wards and offer assistance to people in quarantine. Asha workers, a police officer and local volunteers accompanied them to hotspots and demarcated containment zones. The squads imposed ward-level lockdown with the help of residents and neighbourhood self-help groups.

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