Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the free food kit distribution would continue this month also in view of the spread of Covid and the lockdown. “The distribution of the free grocery kits will start from next week and it will be given to guest workers in the state also. Community kitchens will serve cooked food to those in quarantine and those stranded due to the lockdown. We firmly believe that no one should go hungry in our state during this difficult period.”
During the media briefing, the Chief Minister said, “There will be total lockdown in the state from Saturday and all restrictions will be strictly enforced. People should venture out of their houses only for emergency purpose and they should carry a self-declaration with them along with an identity card. Roadside food vendors will not be open during the lockdown.”
“Automobile workshops and service centres will be open on the last two days of the week. Banks and other financial institutions will function on alternate days only (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). Those coming to Kerala from other States should register on the Covid Jagratha Portal or else they will have to undergo 14 days paid quarantine. People should practice personal safety, social distancing and hygiene inside their houses.”
He also advised people to avoid inter-district travel as much as possible.
The CM clarified that a lockdown was inevitable as the number of cases were increasing rapidly and there will be a corresponding increase in the number of deaths also. “Given the high population density in Kerala, there is no other measure as effective as lockdown to reduce contact between people. Kerala also has a high number of the elderly with lifestyle diseases. “
“Considering all this, the spread of the disease in Kerala has the potential to be stronger and more deadly than anywhere else. We have to avoid a situation where more people lose their lives. But a large reduction in the number of patients should not be expected as soon as the lockdown is announced. It will take more than a week to see the benefits of a lockdown.”
The CM also announced strict action against those who spread misinformation on social media. The police have been directed to register cases against those who create and share such fake posts.
Permission has been granted to continue the construction work so that guest workers will not lose their jobs and income. The contractor or the building owner should arrange accommodation and food on the construction site for the migrant labourers or else, they should be provided with travel facilities.
250 million USD assistance for Resilient Kerala Development Project
The Chief Minister informed that that World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have agreed to provide US 250 million for the second phase of the Resilient Kerala Development Programme, part of the Rebuild Kerala Initiative. As part of this, projects will be implemented to enhance Kerala's capacity to combat climate change, natural disasters, infectious diseases and epidemics. In August 2019, the World Bank provided US 250 million for the first phase of the Resilient Kerala Development Programme. Since then, the German Development Bank has provided more than 100 million Euro.
The Department of Economic Affairs of the Central Government has approved the Preliminary Project Proposal submitted by Kerala in this regard. This project will help the state to improve its assets, overcome disasters, fight floods and rebuild green Kerala. The project will also strengthen the state's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Negotiations with the World Bank have been completed. Talks with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will take place next week. Upon successful completion of the negotiations, the Central Government will sign a memorandum of understanding with these agencies. In March, the World Bank also approved a 210 million solid waste treatment plan. This could not be announced at that time because of the election code of conduct.
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