Places of worship will remain closed in Kerala, says Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that even though requests have come from a few quarters to allow places of worship to open, this cannot be done.

“The rules of the Centre are very clear and do not allow opening of places of worship. The problem is once permission is given, it will be difficult to control the numbers. So, all will have to wait a while more,” he said soon after chairing the daily Covid review meeting.

Vijayan said 40 more people have turned corona positive and of these, 37 came from outside the state.

“We expected this as more and more people from outside the state are returning. We reiterate that we will receive all who want to return, but the only condition is all have to intimate us and get registered. From tomorrow (Thursday) onwards, we have decided to increase testing and we will be doing 3,000 tests,” he said.

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As on date, the state has 445 cases and 1,07,832 are in isolation at homes, institutions and hospitals.

On Wednesday, 13 more hotspots were added, taking the tally to 81.

Vijayan also said: “We would like to clear that we have no issues of people arriving on chartered flights and the only thing is we should be told in advance to make all the necessary arrangements.”

In reply to the criticism levelled by Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan that the only thing where Kerala stands first is in telling lies about Covid, Vijayan said it “is most unfortunate that irresponsible statements are being made by responsible people”.

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“Do not know why this is happening,” he said.

Vijayan reiterated that Kerala’s home quarantine has been proved to be very effective and more than 78,000 people did it successfully and there is a very effective monitoring system to see that this is done in letter and spirit.

“With more and more people expected, we will also strengthen the monitoring of this as a volunteer force will now join hands with the police to effectively do the monitoring,” he said.

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