Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday asked local bodies to ensure proper Covid protocols are followed, even as police got tough on violators saying police clearance for jobs and passports will bear the brunt of their present action.

Vijayan held an online meeting with the ward members of the local bodies and asked them to ensure that there is a proper and working ward-level committee to ensure proper Covid protocols are followed.

Across the state, police was out in full strength and was very tough on those who ventured out without a proper reason as the lockdown came into effect.

“We will register FIR’s against all who break the protocols and it could well turn out to be tough for those who will apply for a police clearance certificate for jobs and when applying for passports,” said Kochi Police Commissioner C.H. Nagaraju.

The Chief Minister called the meeting at a time when the entire state has come under a total lockdown which came into effect Saturday morning and would be in force till next Sunday.

Kerala on Friday recorded 38,460 new Covid cases after 1,44,345 samples was tested in the past 24 hours, while the total number of active cases stood at 4,02,650.

It was on account of the surge in cases and the positivity rate crossing 25 per cent that the total lockdown was effected.

On Saturday, Vijayan asked that on account of the lockdown, the ward-level committees should ensure that they reach every household and ensure that wherever required, the needs of the households should be addressed.

He also asked these committees to ensure that there are ambulances if a need arises for taking patients from Covid centres to the hospitals.

He was referring to an incident at Alappuzha when two Covid volunteers on Friday had to take an ailing Covid patient on a motorcycle, breaking Covid protocalls, after no ambulance was able to be located to take the patient.

“A bike cannot be a replacement for an ambulance and if an ambulance is not available, alternate vehicles should be identified to fall upon, when a need arises,” said Vijayan to the ward members.

–IANS

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