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Kerala: How Thiruvananthapuram’s coastal villages turned COVID-19 hotspots July 28,2020   |  Source: The News Minute

Mabel Antony from Vizhinjam in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram was relieved when lockdown rules were eased in June. She could finally resume selling fish for a livelihood. “I get fish from Vizhinjam harbour. I take them by auto rickshaw to the city, then sell them by either walking through the housing colonies or sitting on the road side. When lockdown was announced, I had no income. When it was relaxed, we all went to the harbour again. The police used to shout at us to wear masks and maintain distance. But that never happened,” narrates Mabel.

“It was a huge crowd at the landing area. None of us bothered to wear masks or wash hands. I am sure that nobody followed any instructions from the police. Sometimes, there were hundreds of people in the harbour. We were never scared. But now we realise that was a mistake,” she says. It is a similar story across coastal Thiruvananthapuram. With coastal communities returning to work after the easing of lockdown restrictions, authorities in the state capital failed to reach the grassroots on awareness and safety.

“At one point, the police were tired of telling people who gathered. They stopped. People here considered police as a nuisance. There was no one else to explain or to fully convince everyone here. After lockdown

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)