Kerala lockdown
Police personnel stop a commuter amid nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Kochi on Wednesday. Image Credit: ANI

Thiruvananthapuram: In the best of times Kerala’s roads are unsafe with more than 4,000 lives being lost every year in road accidents in the state.

When all of India is under lockdown for 21 days, one positive takeaway for the state from the situation should naturally be the saving of dozens of lives, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

So much so that a youth who had been in coronavirus quarantine in Thrissur district lost his life in a bike accident last week after he jumped quarantine and roamed the streets. At that time, the state government had been exhorting everyone to stay at home and limit contact with others as far as possible.

Matters haven’t changed much even after the national lockdown came into force on Tuesday midnight.

On Wednesday, the first day of India’s 21-day lockdown, an auto-rickshaw driver lost his life when his vehicle collided with a truck at Changanacherry in Kottayam district.

The deceased was identified as K.R. Ramesh, 50. A woman passenger in the rickshaw escaped with minor injuries.

On Thursday, two more lives were lost on the road in Cherthala in Alappuzha district when a truck collided with a bicycle and a bike.

Local media reported that the deceased were identified as Appachan, a native of Pattanakkad, and Joy, a native of Chellanam.

Across the state, police have been struggling to restrict the numbers of people coming out on to the roads even after the lockdown. On Wednesday police issued strict warnings and charged over 2,800 people and seized over 1,600 vehicles across the state for unnecessarily being out of their homes and driving on the roads.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has repeatedly warned of stringent action against those straying out of their homes during the curfew days.