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What Covid-19? Life is normal in Lakshadweep | India News

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KOCHI: The world may be in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, disrupting daily schedules and stealing many of your weekend getaways, but life seems to be normal in the small Lakshadweep islands, which has yet to record the first case positive for coronavirus.
There are no masks, no disinfectants, and many Covid-19 rules are not in place and all human activities, including marriages and public gatherings, continue, thanks to the strict Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that prohibits easy entry of people to the island in Arabia. sea.
According to PP Mohammed Faizal, who represents the islands in Lok Sabha, Lakshadweep has prevented the Covid-19 pandemic since its outbreak earlier this year, reporting zero cases as of December 8.
“So far not a single case of coronavirus has been reported in Lakshadweep due to the exemplary precautionary measures we have taken,” Faizal told PTI.
Gaining entry to the 36-square-kilometer island comes with its strict set of measures.
Whether it be a common man, officials or representatives of the people, they will have to comply with the measures, including a mandatory seven-day quarantine in Kochi, the only point from which transport by boats and helicopters to the Union Territory is allowed.
Faizal said that no Covid-19 restrictions have been imposed on people on the islands.
“No masks, no disinfectants because it is a green area. Lakshadweep is the only place where schools are open and classes are held. From September 21 onwards, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has allowed schools to open.”
“It is as usual. All functions, including religious and others such as marriages, are carried out as usual. Here everything is normal,” said the two-time deputy.
The smallest TU in the country, Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of ​​32 square kilometers.
All the islands are 220 to 440 km from the coastal city of Kochi in Kerala. According to the 2011 census, it has a population of 64,000 inhabitants.
Faizal said that at the time Kerala reported the first Covid-19 case, also the country’s first, in January, the local administration mounted a strict vigil.
The first concern was to stop the arrival of tourists, both international and national.
“In March 2019 we stopped him,” said the deputy.
The administration then stopped permitting entry to each of the islands from the mainland and allowed access only to the capital Kavaratti from Kochi with the administrator’s approval, authorities said.
By restricting the issuance of entry permits, the administration could control the entry of non-islanders to Lakshadweep, they added.
For the entry of islanders working in other parts of the county and abroad, officials deployed to Lakshadweep and those traveling to the mainland for treatment purposes, a standard operating procedure was formulated.
Consequently, those who want to come to Lakshadweep will have to undergo a seven-day institutional quarantine in Kochi, and the administration will bear the cost involved.
To ensure proper testing of samples from islanders quarantined in Kochi, the administration has provided a testing machine to the Kalamassery Government Medical School.
“Those who tested negative will be allowed to come to Lakshadweep. Once they get to their particular island, they will again have to be quarantined for a week. That has been strictly monitored by the medical and police departments,” Faizal said .
The MP said he traveled to Delhi three times during the pandemic period and followed all established sets of rules before returning to the islands, including quarantine for seven days in Kochi.
“After testing negative, I go back to Lakshadweep where I undergo one (more) week of quarantine at home,” said Faizal, who attended the parliament session during the monsoon and two official meetings in Delhi during the period.
He said that many cases of coronavirus were reported when they were quarantined in Kochi.
“The infected people will be transferred to the special administration facilities in Kochi, where they will have to stay for 10 days,” he said.
After 10 days they will be tested again.
“If they test negative, they will have to spend 14 more days in the administration’s facilities and taken to the island only after conducting one more test,” he said.
An official from the Kerala Health Department said outsiders who test positive for the virus in the state will be included in their list of cases, but the states they belong to will be mentioned along with it.
Fazial also praised the measures taken by the late Lakshadweep administrator, Dineshwar Sharma, as being critical in making Lakshadweep green.
“He was so special in making our island green in every way possible. He went the extra mile for this and was such a nice person,” Faizal said.
Sharma died in a Chennai hospital on December 4 from a serious lung disease.

Times of India

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