Kerala Corona Lockdown: An Essential Guide

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As the whole world suffers the hit of the novel coronavirus, different governments are taking different precautions and measures to tackle the pandemic. India goes on a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. This decision comes as an after effect of the sharp increase in the number of cases in recent days. People are panicking regarding the lockdown, clouded by doubts of whether essential items like groceries and medicines will be available during the 21 day period.

Covid-19 lockdown:  Home delivery of kits of food essentials

  • Kerala becomes the first state to initiate home delivery of food essentials to the poor
  • Families below the poverty line will continue to receive 30kg of food grain, along with this the kit prepared by the state will also be given
  • Ration shops will be open from 9am to 5pm with a one-hour lunch break at 1pm

Availability of necessities

Groceries and other essential items

There are restrictions on commercial establishments such as supermarkets and vegetable stores, but there is no need to panic

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets will be open from 7am to 5pm.
  • All shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths will be open for the restricted time but district authorities encourage home deliveries to minimize movement of individuals
  • E-commerce that facilitates delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment are exempt from complete shutdown
  • Residence associations and other forms of societal groups are engaging in different ways to provide necessities to their members. They operate with the help of Whatsapp groups and Facebook groups.
vegetable market rush ahead of the lockdown

Pharmacies and Medical Shops

  • Pharmacies will be open from 7am to 5pm
  • Most pharmacies will also facilitate home delivery in the same area. You need to call them enquire about the delivery options.
  • Most hospital pharmacies are delivering medicines to nearby areas. You can call them and arrange for the delivery.

Unfortunately India’s Flipkart and Amazon’s Pantry have halted services due to the lockdown initiated to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Travel and Transportation

  • All public transportation has been shut down including trains, KSRTC, Kochi Metro.
  • Private vehicles are allowed with only two passengers including the driver
  • The purpose of travel should be made clear to police officers
  • Non-emergency travel is strictly prohibited
  • For emergency travel one need to submit an affidavit online and get approval via SMS. You need to provide details like name, address, travel details, vehicle details along with photo of your signature. On approval the pass will be sent to your mobile via SMS which needs to be shown to police at checkpoints. A person is allowed to make three emergency trips in a week. Below is the link for the e-Curfew Pass
  • Interstate travel is not permitted
  • Kerala police will issue passes to people who are employed in data centers, telecom providers, medical shop staff etc.
  • People who travel in private vehicles need to give self-declaration stating their reason for travel, time of travel, vehicle number, passenger details etc. The police will cross check the declaration if required and legal action will be taken against those who misuse this facility.
The self-declaration form for prvate vehicles

Petrol Pumps and LPG

  • Petrol pumps will be open
  • LPG, Petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets will also be open
Workers at Petrol Pump as Lockdown commences in the country

Bank

  • All private and public sector banks will remain open
  • The banks will only be open till 2 pm.
  • The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) stated that its branches will be opened for only 3 to 4 hours during the lockdown

Other guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs

  • Educational, training, research coaching institutions, etc shall remain closed
  • Places of worship shall be closed for public
  • Social / political / sports / entertainment / academic / cultural / religious functions, gatherings shall be barred
  •  In case of funerals, congregation of not more than 20 persons will be permitted

As per Government guidelines delivery of essential goods and groceries from e-commerce sites are permitted but delivery people face difficulties with police officers on duty. Some have shut down their services temporarily because of this

Some helpful links to online services

Grocery Online

Online Pharmacy

Online Food Delivery

The world is facing a huge crisis, battling the coronavirus pandemic is crucial and everyone is doing their best to minimize the spread. Stay Safe and Stay home, Let’s Break the Chain.