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Opinion

Covid-19: Kerala Bans Public Gatherings on New Years Eve

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The Kerala government has issued an order banning all public gatherings as part of the New Year celebrations. Signed by the chief secretary, Dr. A Jayathilak, the order has been sent to all the district collectors and the chiefs of police say that all celebrations on New Years Eve (December 31) must cease at 10pm.

The decision has been made in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. “Given the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state, it is likely that the celebration of the New Year 2021 by the public will cause an increase in the transmission of Covid-19, if the existing Covid protocols are not followed,” the order said.

It has made the use of face masks, the maintenance of social distance and sanitation mandatory for those who celebrate the new year. The order has said that legal action will be taken against people who do not comply with these rules.

Kerala is the latest to impose restrictions on New Year’s celebrations following the emergence of the new strain of the virus that has been found in the UK. Delhi also imposed similar measures for December 31 and January 1.

Maharashtra was one of the first states to impose a night curfew once the new strain was discovered. The seven-hour curbs were imposed on December 22 and will continue until January 5.

Karnataka, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Rajasthan have also announced a nightly curfew to control the spread of the virus.

All of these states have banned large gatherings and made Covid protocols, like wearing face masks and disinfecting the area, mandatory.

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