6 Months!

It has now officially been 6 months since we went into lockdown here in my area. March 20th was the last day I went to work at the office and after several discussions of when and if we would go into a lockdown, it was declared that India would go into a complete lockdown, other than essential services, 3 days from then. Kerala declared that we would go into lockdown on the next day, which gave a lot of people enough time to get arrangements made after the weekend. I went into the weekend not knowing if we would go into lockdown and on Monday morning we got the info that we will be effective that same day.

Since then I have been working at home, using the client/windows system provided to me by the company. We are working outsourced for a large, large company. I have been working steadily at home (sometimes a little too much for my taste) and I have only gone out for a few times since then. Usually just to the main post office (to collect packages), some grocery shopping (it’s nice to go out to a store once in a while even if we do most of our shopping online via delivery apps), go to an ATM, some other errands and to get a bite to eat from one of the restaurants or cafes that are allowing dine in options.

How things have changed! I never thought I would ever get some work from home opportunity other than the freelance thing that I do. Never thought this job would be allowed to get done from home but here we are. And I still don’t plan on going back for a while. If I do quit and leave for another job I will be looking for another work from home option as well. Life as we know has certainly changed!

Kerala Coronavirus Numbers Growing Faster

Kerala, once the most successful state in containing the spread of the novel Coronavirus epidemic, has been adding relatively large number of cases for several weeks now. On Wednesday, the state detected more than 2,000 cases in a day for the first time, and simultaneously reached 50,000-figure for confirmed cases. In the last one month, the number of confirmed cases has grown by almost four times, at a rate which is among the fastest in India. Even now, at 4.01 per cent per day it is growing much faster than the national rate. In fact, amongst the states with high caseloads, those with more than 20,000 confirmed cases, only Punjab has higher growth rate than Kerala right now.

The death count has also increased substantially in the last few weeks, though the state still has one of the lowest fatality rates in the country, at least amongst the major states. So far, deaths of 225 Coronavirus positive patients have been recorded but, the state says, 43 of these had happened due to other reasons, and are not being counted as Covid-19 deaths. Coronavirus cases in Kerala had begun to grow after the travel restrictions had been eased for the first time in the first week of May. Most of the new cases at that time were those coming back from other states or foreign countries.

Nearly half a million people are estimated to have returned to Kerala in the last two months. Even now, about one fourth of the total confirmed cases in the state are those who have a history of inter-state or international travel. But the infection has spread amongst the local population as well, and Kerala was one of the first states to acknowledge community transmission, at least in the coastal districts which are the worst affected. Besides Kerala, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh also recorded their single day highs on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh crossed the 5000-mark for the first time, while Maharashtra breached the 13,000-figure.

Kakkanad & Office Visit Post Lockdown

I went to the office today for the first time since March 20th. I didn’t realize that I missed it so much and was happy to see the premises. I was only there to get a replacement for a small device that I need to access the client tools. I woke up at 1:30 pm, after my 10:30 pm to 7:30 am shift and then waited for about 30 minutes before taking a shower and a shave. I then had my lunch and got ready. I had booked a cab and called him as he was nearby and went down, mask in hand.

We went to Kakkanad and I was passing by areas that I haven’t been to since the lockdown started. Kaloor, Palarivattom and Kakkanad areas. Happy to pass by with less traffic, not happy because of the reason. On the way I saw several taxi cabs and some are Uber and Ola drivers in them, seller chips and other snacks items out of their cars, which were parked by the side of the roads. That is a sad thing to see. Some of the snacks were cheaper than usual. They gotta make a living.

In 30 minutes we reached the office andI was only there for about 25 minutes or so, spoke to a couple of colleagues and then left. Still felt nice to see the place. I left soon after and bought some medicines on my way home. I came home, ordered some hot chocolate and had a light snack and then fell asleep after watching a couple of episodes of The X-Files.

Heavy Rainfall In Kerala

Following a red alert issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD)- of heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Kerala, torrential rains pounded Idukki district, resulting in a major landslide. Fifteen others have been rescued so far and are undergoing treatment at the Tata General Hospital in Munnar. Cost of treatment will be borne by the state, the Chief Minister said, announcing ? 5 lakh as compensation for the families of those killed.

As heavy rains continues in Kerala, the IMD has once again issued a red alert for Thrissur, predicting severe spells of rains in the coming days. Meanwhile, latest reports say 10 people have died in the landslide. Rescue workers at the landslide site in Rajamala, Idukki district (Munnar) shift bodies on make-shift slings.

On Thursday heavy rains caused a temporary bridge in the district to collapse, state authorities said. The entire district was on red alert for likely extremely heavy rainfall today. Idukki district also saw floods in low-lying areas like Munnar, which is a popular tourist destination near Rajamalai, because of rising water levels of a nearby river. Heavy rain also lashed Ernakulam district, with a Shiva temple in Aluva flooded after significantly increased water levels in the Periyar River. Rain and landslides also disrupted life in Wayanad district’s Kurichiyarmala area, where two houses have been damaged so far, according to ANI. Wayanad district’s Panamaram area has also reported floods after continuous rainfall over the last three days, news agency ANI reported.

A red alert unsecured payday loan has been issued for tomorrow (August 8 ) for Idukki, Thrissur, Wayanad and Palakkad districts, while an orange alert has been sounded for all other districts except Thiruvananthapura. Here in Kochi it’s been really heavy rains since early morning and it has affected power in some areas and internet in some (including mine).

Vlog # 10 Live Post Coronavirus – Will We Go Into Another Lockdown?

Vlog # 10 Live Post Coronavirus – Will We Go Into Another Lockdown? – other than a quick 90 minute venture for some errands to get some money from my bank, go to the head post office to collect some packages and a funny update from a former-colleague and friend of mine who got a new cushy & well paying job.

Kerala To Go Into Another Lockdown?

More than 1000 people infected in one day in the state. We are going into another lockdown people.

Hospitals are getting overwhelmed. Shame but if this helps like earlier I guess there is no other way. Kerala may consider returning to a statewide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. A final decision on this matter will be taken at a special cabinet meeting to be held on Monday. The move comes in the wake of 1,038 cases being detected in the state in a single day on Wednesday. This had forced the government to announce a case in Ernakulam’s Aluva region and also tighten vigil across the state.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state’s fatality average is 0.31 per cent when compared to the national average of 2.41 per cent. The state’s situation is better, but some cannot digest it, he said, while responding to criticism from the Opposition. Kerala has registered a total of 15,032 cases so far including 8,818 cases that are currently active. 6,164 patients have recovered, while 47 have died in the state. Taking another precautionary measure, the government on Thursday announced cancellation of the assembly session scheduled from July 27, reported the news agency. Government’s consideration for a state-wide lockdown comes even as capital city Thiruvananthapuram and many parts of the district are already under lockdown for over two weeks and will continue to observe it till July 28.

This is depressing guys. The economy is suffering and businesses are closing and many, many people are getting affected. I think I will stock up on some essentials just to be careful and hopefully it won’t have to come to that.

Like TVM, Cochin May Too Go Into Triple Lockdown

Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram was placed under a weeklong ‘triple lockdown’ starting July 6 after several Covid-19 cases turned up without a specific origin of infection. This has led to fears of a local transmission of the virus within the city. The areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation will witness an effective containment strategy devised by the Kerala Police seeking to suspend the movement of the public and allow more time for health officials to carry out contact tracing measures. The ‘triple lockdown’ strategy entails focused interventions by the police at three different levels to minimise the impact of the community spread, if present, or prevent it altogether.

Due to the number of infected people rising, Kochi too may go into a triple lockdown as far the news indicates. The first lock is a general containment strategy to prevent the movement of the people all over the area. Except for one road for entry/exit, all other roads and bylanes leading to the area are shut down using barricades and police officers posted for security. Public transport is suspended. Private transport is allowed only for essential purposes. While grocery, vegetable stores and medical shops are allowed to operate, the public are advised to remain at home and call helpline numbers for doorstep delivery of services. Police officials and volunteers will engage in such services. People stepping out of their homes for essential reasons must carry signed declaration forms stating why they are outside. Police officers will verify such documents and allow them if found valid.

Criminal cases and fines will be imposed if people are found violating the lockdown without valid reasons. Movement of trucks carrying essential supplies, medical personnel, journalists, defence and health personnel, taxis ferrying people from railway stations and airports will be allowed. Government offices, religious places and educational institutions will remain shut.

The second lock is on the specific geographical areas called clusters where primary and secondary contacts of the infected persons are staying in quarantine. These are essentially containment zones where there will be intensified police presence. The third lock involves much more focused intervention on the households of the infected persons and well as those of their primary and secondary contacts. These are persons who are at greater risk of transmitting the virus to a large number of people. While those who test positive are ferried off to hospitals, asymptomatic primary or secondary contacts are monitored strictly so that they don’t step out of home.

Coronavirus Restrictions To Be For 1 Year

As per updates, the Kerala government has decided to bring in new guidelines, regulations for the prevention of Covid-19. Thr restrictions to Remain in Place For Next 1 Year.

1) All people in the state must wear face mask or face cover in public places. Wearing mask in workplaces is also a must in the state.

2) All must maintain strict social distance at public place.

3) Maximum 50 people are allowed to attend marriage celebrations in Kerala.

4) Maximum 20 people will be permitted for funeral in the state.

5) Special permission from local authority will be required for people to hond or attend large gathering.

6) Spitting in public places is strictly prohibited and will be treated as punishable offence.

7) People travelling to Kerala from other states need to register themselves on Kerala government’s Jagratha e-platform.

8 ) Maximum 20 people will be allowed at any shops across the state.

Work @ Home Extended Again

I got the news late last night after a long day at work and while I was lying in bed and trying to watch some Agents Of SHIELD. A colleague in my team messaged me and asked if I had read the news shared in an announcement email sent by our country head. I hadn’t since I had shut down my system at 11pm and so I got the info that they have declared that those of us who are currently working from home (having got systems from the office) will continue to work from home until December 31st, 2020! They will look at the situation after a while and see if they can make a change but it does not look likely.

In the current situation, as the number of infected people starts going up in India and even in my state and city. I just heard that with 241 fresh cases, Kerala has registered a new Covid 19 peak on Saturday with the coronavirus situation taking a turn for worse in state capital Thiruvananthapuram and port city of Kochi. A worried Indian Medical Association (IMA), Kerala chapter has asked the state government to enforce a strict lockdown in containment areas and restrict movement of people to avert community spread. Saturday’s tally is the biggest single-day spike in the state since the outbreak in January. The total number of cases registered so far in the state has gone up to 5,204. 3,050 of these patients have recovered leaving 2,129 active cases. The state has recorded 25 deaths to the disease so far, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office.

The fact that personal micro loans the source of infection is unknown in many cases has worried the state government. The CM said that since the disease was spreading both in urban and rural areas, stricter cubs will be needed to contain it. The government is toying with the idea of enforcing a targeted confinement and triple lockdown in some of the worst-hit areas to check the spread of the contagion. Triple lockdown, a measure considered stricter than curfew allowing only police personnel’s movement, did wonders in containing the spread of the disease in Kasaragod in north Kerala earlier.

Covid-19 Update & Liquor Stores Reopen

After the arrival of non-resident Keralaites from Gulf countries, the Maldives and from hotspots in other states in India in early May, Kerala saw a major leap in the number of COVID-19 infections. An expert committee, led by Dr B. Ikbal, public health expert and member of the state planning board, advised the state government on May 26 to upgrade the quarantine measures from home to room quarantines. The police have also intensified their surveillance of those under quarantine, and have been strictly registering cases against those flouting the rules. On May 26 alone, cases were registered against 3,261 people for not wearing face masks in public places. And between May 4 and May 26, cases were registered against 453 people who violated quarantine rules.

the LDF government in Kerala has found the perfect reason to broad base its liquor sale and completely demolish the no-alcohol policy of the previous Congress-led UDF government. The government opened up liquor sales on 28 May, after over two months of lockdown, but only after it took a number of decisions to augment sale and, by extension, revenue. or one, the state has allowed the retail sale of liquor through private bar counters. As a result, the LDF government has commandeered the support of another 867 sales points, comprising 576 bar-attached hotels and 291 beer parlours. Before the lockdown, the state’s liquor retail outreach was limited to 265 outlets of Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), supplemented by 36 Consumer Federation sales points.

The state government has also enforced a new astronomical tax structure under which tax is levied at 247 per cent of the basic cost of liquor, up from 212 per cent before the lockdown.This is among the highest in the country. For instance, in Maharashtra, which has allowed home delivery of liquor, 72 per cent goes as excise and VAT to the government on every bottle sold.

Covid-19 : Status In Kerala 10-May-2020

Three of the seven new virus cases are those who returned to Kerala from Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Four more people recovered on Sunday, taking total number of recoveries to 489 in the state. The total number of active cases in Kerala rose to 20 on Sunday after seven new Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, said Health Minister K.K. Shailaja. Out of the seven new positive cases reported today, two are from Thrissur and one from Malappuram and they reached the state from Abu Dhabi on 7 May.

The first Air India Express flight carrying Indian citizens from Abu Dhabi landed at the airport here on Thursday night as part of Indian government’s biggest ever repatriation exercise in its history to bring back its nationals stranded abroad amid the international travel lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. The Air India Express flight IX 452 with 181 passengers landed at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at 10.09 pm on Thursday. There were 49 pregnant women and four infants among the 181 passengers. She said four more people recovered on Sunday, taking total number of recoveries to 489 in the southern state.

Shops remained shut and vehicles were off the roads in Kerala as the state government’s order on total shutdown on Sundays came into force since morning as part of the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Left government had on Saturday night issued an order on “total shutdown across the state on Sundays” while exempting shops selling essential items and essential services. after the state registered cases in single digits, two new cases, expatriates who had returned to the state from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Saturday, had tested positive on Saturday, causing concern as over four lakh people had registered with the NORKA portal wanting to return to the state. Roads remained empty across the state and shops were closed, except those selling essentials, including milk and medicines. Hospitals, labs and media among others will be permitted to function on Sundays.

Covid-19: Lockdown Status In Kerala

A partial lockdown will continue until 15 May and further decisions can be taken based on the then situation. Districts with no fresh cases can be reopened but with a ban on public transportation and mass gatherings. Inter-state and inter-district travels should also be restricted until 15 May. The demand for testing and PPE kits are skyrocketing though and the state has asked the central government to take the charge in procuring kits.

Following the fresh classification done by the Centre, post May 3rd Kerala will have two districts each in green and red zones, while 10 are in the orange zone. Ernakulam and Wayanad come in the green zone, Kannur and Kottayam are in the red and the remaining 10 districts, including the state capital — Thiruvananthapuram — are in the orange zone.

Kerala government has decided not to open liquor shops in the state at the moment. The decision was taken at a meeting of health department chief secretaries summoned by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the relaxations provided during stage three of the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Earlier, the Centre had granted states the permission to open liquor shops. However, the Kerala government decided against opening BEVCO outlets as customers could throng the outlets as bars remain closed. Following this, the CM directed not to open liquor shops in the state.

Covid-19 : Kerala Update 09-0-2020

Well it looks like the lockdown will continue for a while.Describing the COVID-19 pandemic as an “unprecedented” public health crisis in recent history, a Kerala government-appointed task force has pitched for a “phased” and “calibrated” lifting of the national lockdown, saying “time is not yet ripe” for its full withdrawal from April 14.Continuing restriction of large scale movement of people across international and state boundaries bad credit unsecure loan was critical and easing it should not be considered unless and until the situation was under control in every state, it suggested. However, the panel said it also felt that prolonged and stringent lockdown would lead to economic hardship, famine and law and order problems, which could undermine both the lockdown and the health management objectives. On Tuesday the state would be able to chart its future course of action only after knowing the Centre’s decision on the 21-day lockdown, imposed to check the spread of the deadly virus.

A phased withdrawal would be sustainable only if there was a steady recovery and decline in the number of cases leading to initial flattening of the infection curve and then gradual tapering of the curve to zero infection cases. The government should advise people of the state that in the event of a resurgence, they should be ready and willing to undergo the rigours of a complete lockdown once again, it said. It suggested that the unit for operationalising a phased withdrawal approach should be a district as it had defined boundaries and an executive magistrate who had the authority to effectively enforce the measures of the phased lockdown.

We might also see, as per the suggestions, wearing masks in public, limiting the number of passengers in public buses to one-third of the capacity of the vehicle, and rapid testing and screening of those who return to Kerala once the state’s borders are reopened. A draft action plan compiled by a 17-member task force has suggested continuing with strict restrictions on commercial, industrial, religious and cultural activity in seven hotspot districts that cover half of Kerala, where the risk of infection is higher. The administration does not believe that major revenue making avenues, such as tourism, alcohol, jewellery and lottery sales, will return to normal functioning anytime soon.

Covid-19 : Kerala Update 30-03-2020

Kerala on Monday reported 32 fresh coronavirus cases, with Kasargod district alone accounting for 17 cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. Kannur reported 15 cases, while Wayanad and Idukki reported two cases each, he told reporters here after a COVID-19 review meeting. Of the 32 cases, 17 had come from abroad and 15 infected through contact. The total number of people presently under treatment in the state is 213. At least 1.50 lakh people are under surveillance in the state and 623 people are in isolation wards of various hospitals.

The CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the issue of migrant labourers staging protests at Payipadu on Sunday was being looked into. Over 2,500 people without proper houses had been accommodated at special camps and were being fed, he said. Vijayan urged TV channels to provide free services to help keep people at home. The bankers, he said, had promised to provide banking services and keep ATMs stocked and functioning.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had promised to supply dialysis systems and ventilators in the Kasargode districts, while Unicef had given Rs 35 lakh to each of the 14 district collectors, he said.During the day, Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor allocated Rs 1.57 lakh from MPLAD for Covid-19 related activities, including purchase of 3,000 rapid test kits.

Covid-19 : India Update

The number of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, cases crossed 900 in India with the death toll rising to 19, according to the Union Health Ministry. According to the data, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 775, while 78 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated. The number of coronavirus cases increased to 61 in Uttar Pradesh today after 11 people tested positive for the disease, a senior health official said. The total number of COVID-19 patients in the state is at 181 after 28 new patients found positive today. Till now, a total of 26 patients have recovered or discharged. 104 tests found negative for COVID-19.

India’s trajectory is flatter than that of the US, which is the new global epicentre of Covid-19, with confirmed cases surpassing China. Yet, given the volatility in India’s daily data over the past few days, it is too early to say whether the current trajectory will sustain, rise, or flatten in the coming days. Even going by the current trajectory, India’s case count has doubled over the past four days. If this trajectory continues, the number of cases could shoot up to 10,000 cases over the next 16 days, and India could run out of hospital beds in May.

At 162, Kerala leads in terms of the number of active cases of Covid-19. Active cases exclude deaths and recoveries from the list of confirmed cases. Maharashtra has the second most number of active cases (150), followed by Karnataka (50). At 47 active cases, Telangana has the fourth-highest number of active cases, followed closely by Rajasthan (45). In the north-east, two states have reported Covid-19 cases so far: Manipur and Mizoram, with 1 confirmed case each in both states. Other north-eastern states have not reported any case so far. Jharkhand hasn’t reported any confirmed case either. Kasargod district (45 cases) has reported the most number of cases in Kerala.

Sunday Shutdown Due To Corona Virus

short term loans with no credit checks The state of Kerala is on self-imposed 14 -hour Janata curfew is total in the state when three hours of self-isolation has been completed. The curfew began at 7 am and will end at 9 pm. However now it’s been extended till 5am MOnday. All the roads were seen empty in the state and people are busy cleaning their houses as part of containing the Covid-19 spread. All the transport services including KSRTC  kept off the roads and all the shops except emergency services were seen locked. Private taxi and autorickshaws also joined the curfew.  In the front of Secretariat, the agitators also left home giving solidarity to the Union and state governments to combat the disease threat.

I haven’t heard a single vehicle all day long (it’s 6:15 pm now) and I haven’t even heard a single other person other than my parents who I live with. The train services were also cut shortened. In Kochi, the metro rail services are not operating as it already informed that they will not operate on Sunday. However, the government has issued strict instructions to ensure that essential services shouldn’t be hit. The chief minister has said that delivery of milk and water shouldn’t be interrupted and hospital canteens, including those in private hospitals, should remain open throughout Sunday. Petrol pumps would also remain open. The curfew was called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the state government would also join to the curfew as part of the collective effort to combat the threat of virus.

As the day progressed, both the Centre and States took slew of measures to contain the contagion that has already claimed 7 lives even as the number of infected nears 350. While the Center announced suspension of inter-state passenger train and bus services till March 31, Delhi’s CM announced a lockdown from 6AM Monday till midnight of March 31.

The Fate Of Southern Fried Chicken in Kerala

A few years ago I had written in length about the Malayalee’s love for Southern Fried Chicken which led to several KFC styled brands to open up shop in Kochi and other cities in Kerala. KFC & ChicKing, the main fast food chain that was established here in Kerala before KFC finally came to our green state, are thriving but the rest are fading fast. I do not see any Chicken Chicago, 3 outlets of Chickos & the 3 Chicknik outlets are long gone and part of history as is NFC.

We still have Krispy Chick’n, the one outlet in Oberon Mall, There’s something called Magj’s American Fried Chicken but there are no outlets near me, though they do have 2 outlets in the state. SFC Plus, which I love has now only 2 outlets, both of which I have never visited but I go to Lulu mall where one is. They had two other outlets which closed, including one of my favourite places to chill out. Yesterday, checking food for delivery dinner, I was sad to learn that the MarryBrown outlet near to me may also be closing down. I dunno, it’s kinda conflicting news. They do have another outlet a little ways away and I guess I can get them to deliver if needs be.

Now there are a couple of non-big name, single outlet, fried chicken places in the city but I have never tried anything from them. I will take a shot and see how they taste. Hope they are good too. I like a little competition.