With staff from various state departments testing positive for Covid-19, Kerala on Thursday said that government offices will function at half the strength on rotation basis. The state also narrowed the containment strategy to micro-level, putting restrictions on movement only in the close neighbourhood of positive cases.
While those with either international or inter-state travel history continue to form a major chunk of Covid-19 cases in Kerala, the number of cases with no specific source of infection has been going up in recent weeks.
On Thursday, a 28-year-old driver with the state excise department died of Covid-19 even as his source of infection remained unclear. He did not have any underlying medical conditions. On Wednesday, a police constable in Kochi and a state transport driver also tested positive. Around 40 health workers have also got infected recently.
“People want to get service from offices, which should not come to a standstill when staff test positive. Hence, only half of the total staff in an office need to work at a time. When one section works from office, another section can work from home. If there are lapses in the safety of health workers, necessary steps would be taken,’’ Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told a press conference after a review meeting on Thursday.
As recently as June 7, the state had ordered that all government offices and PSUs should function at full strength.
The Chief Minister said the state would change its containment plan. A micro-containment zone would be formed with a few houses in the vicinity of a positive case and restrictions strictly implemented in such areas. “Only the house of a positive case and the neighbourhood would come under a containment zone,’’ he said.