Heavy rain in the time of COVID-19

Government ups preparedness to face calamities and surge in diseases

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the State should brace itself for heavy rain. Low pressure over the Arabian sea portended rough seas and heavy rain over Kerala till June 1.The government has banned maritime fishing. It has deemed setting off to sea or backwaters for fishing an illegal act until further notice.Mr. Vijayan urged boats engaged in deep-sea fishery to make for the nearest port at the earliest. Coastal police stations are on alert. The police are patrolling fish-landing centres and harbours and broadcasting the weather warning.The government seemed wary of a replay of the 2017 Ockhi cyclone, which had caught weather persons and fishers off guard.The southwest monsoon was expected to make landfall in the first week of June. Mr. Vijayan said the weather department had predicted that the monsoon was likely to be vigorous over Kerala.He said people should clean their homes and neighbourhoods to prevent the spread of vectors and water-borne diseases characteristic of the season. Hospitals should mandatorily test persons with flu and cold symptoms for COVID-19.Volunteer rescue forceKerala had readied its disaster response mechanism. Emergency services and volunteer rescue teams were on the standby. Kerala would draw on its reserve of 3,37,00 ‘sannadham’ volunteers. They had proffered their services to the State to fight the pandemic.Nearly two lakh of them would be trained in rescue and relief work to assist the police, Fire and Rescue Services and local body officials in the event of a calamity.

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