Kerala Lockdown Day 17: Parcel trains, free milk for young & old and telemedicine

Doctor can be consulted through videoconferencing. Image used for representational purpose.

With nine new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, Kerala's curve has remained generally flat confirming that the lockdown has been largely effective in containing the community spread of the virus.

Onmanorama compiles a list of essential and other services available in the state to see you through the last week of the lockdown.

Time-tabled parcel trains

The railways has for the first time introduced time-tabled parcel trains for nationwide transportation of essential commodities and other goods, the national transporter said on Wednesday, identifying 40 new routes for such vans. Local industries, e-commerce companies, interested groups, individuals and any other prospective loaders can book parcels on these trains.

Free milk supplies for old & young

The "Poshanam" (nutrition) programme being implemented in Ernakulam district with the cooperation of Nestle will supply milk to elderly people over the age of 60 and children below 10 free of cost.

ASHA workers, who are trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system, would take the 180 ml ready-to-drink milk packets at the doorstep of the elderly, children and people belonging to the scheduled tribes to ensure that they are served adequate nutrition during the lockdown period.

Telemedicine launched

You can now avail the telemedicine services launched by the health department. At present, 100 doctors will be working at the telemedicine centre. Each person will get 15 minutes to talk to the doctors.

For registration:

Patients wishing to consult doctors from various departments of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College may call in the number 0471 2528080 from 9am to 12pm from Monday to Saturday. SAT Government Dental College Hospital and Government Eye Hospital have also been roped in the telemedicine project.

Qure, a free telemedicine app, with doctors available across India has also made its services available in Kozhikode for free.

Log into these online platforms to access free courses

Students can learn more than 3800 online courses offered by prominent institutes like the John Hopkins University, Yale University, University of Illinois, University of Michigan and University of Colorado Boulder and also tech giants like Google and Intel, through an online platform called Coursera.

Essential commodities at doorsteps

Kerala police cyberdome has come out with an app to facilitate the delivery of essential commodities at your home till lockdown is in effect. The facility is in association with the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi.

Consumers and traders can use the app or website.

Click here to download the app for consumers

Click here to download the app for shops

Rs 20 meals from Janakiya hotels

The Thiruvanthapuram Municipality in collaboration with Kudumbasree is all set to provide Rs 20 meals through Janakiya restaurants. The meals are delivered to households for just Rs 25.

Those wishing to avail the home delivery facility of the Janakiya Hotel must book in advance before 8pm on the previous day. To order, please contact: 7034001843 , 7012285498 , 6235740810 , 9061917457 , 7012827903 , 8129016079 , 8921663462

Daily parcel special service

The Thiruvananthapuram Division of Southern Railway will run Daily Parcel Special Service Train between Thiruvananthapuram – Kozhikode – Thiruvananthapuram. The parcel special service train will be run from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode from April 9 to April 14 (6 services) and from Kozhikode to Thiruvananthapuram from April 9 to April 14 (6 services). Public can avail this facility and send / receive parcels.

Train No.00655 Thiruvananthapuram – Kozhikode daily parcel special service train will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 8am from April 9 to April 14 (6 services) and reach Kozhikode at 6pm the same day. Train No.00656 Kozhikode – Thiruvananthapuram daily parcel special service train will leave Kozhikode at 08.00 hrs. from April 9 to April 14 (6 services) and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 6pm the same day.

For further enquiries relating to parcel special service train, the following may be contacted:

1. Joy, Chief Parcel Inspector, Thiruvananthapuram - +91-81295 99529.

2. Commercial Control, Thiruvananthapuram - +91-95678 69375.

COVID-19 Jagratha

A comprehensive information and management portal for surveillance, care and support for people affected/quarantined by COVID-19. This portal is a one stop platform for the public to avail emergency services and information related to COVID-19. It ensures transparency and quality in public services and welfare measures. Visit for more details.

Helplines for foreigners

Ministry of Tourism has set up a task force comprising both central and state tourism departments to address the issues being brought forward in real-time. The Coordination group is working through WhatsApp, emails and telephones to ensure smooth information flow.

The Ministry's 24x7 helpline number is 1363. For more information visit: or

Facebook Live tips for farming

To help and aid the people in micro-green and vegetable farming, the Haritha Kerala Mission will conduct a class via Facebook Live on Monday at 4pm. Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had suggested that during the lockdown people should attempt to cultivate vegetables at home.

For viewing the Live:

Coronavirus - Tips and Safety Advices

Banking hours

The State Level Bankers’ Committee has decided that Monday onwards all banks in Kerala will be open only from 10am to 2pm. Earlier, the time for banks was from 10am to 4pm on account of salary, pension and disbursal of other relief funds.

Postman for banking

The postal department has come to the aid of many who are unable to withdraw money from banks due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

A new initiative will see postal employees delivering money to homes for free. Up to Rs 10,000 will be delivered in cash. The facility can be availed by those who have linked their bank account number and mobile phone number with Aadhaar. Click to read the detailed procedure for such transactions.

Post office on wheels

The mobile post office which was already available in Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram districts will now start functioning in Ernakulam postal division also. It will offer minimal counter services (savings bank deposits, withdrawals, e-Money orders, PLI premium payment etc) and will start functioning from Wednesday.

Moratorium for cooperative loans till May 31

The cooperative department has announced a moratorium till May 31 for repayment of all loans taken from cooperative banks and societies. This is also applicable to the 'Muttathe Mulla' loan. During this period, penal interest will not be levied.

How to avail RBI's loan moratorium?

Following the three-month moratorium on loan repayments announced by the Reserve Bank of India in view of the coronavirus outbreak, banks are introducing various methods for customers to avail it. Onmanorama compiles plans of various banks to implement this.

No ration card? An affidavit can get you supplies

Those without ration cards may access the ration supplies at fair price shops through an affidavit, Ernakulam District Supply Officer informed. The eldest member of the family has to submit the affidavit. Those families without ration cards in any part of Kerala can avail up to 15 kilograms of rice from the fair price shops in this manner. 

Ration complaints

If you find that the free ration supplied is less than what is promised by the government you can register a complaint on the toll-free number 1800 425 4835 or on the website

HRD ministry' mobile app

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has brought out a mobile application, Arogya Setu App, for students, faculty and their family members to fight against COVID-19.

The App can be downloaded from:

iOS: itms-apps://


Ministry of AYUSH has developed a protocol for immunity boosting measures for self-care. The same is also available at the NTA website for download and guidance.

Take this quiz, earn a scholarship has come up with an online quiz competition to motivate students of class 11 and 12 at the time of lockdown. The quiz consists of general knowledge questions from various areas to test the students' overall awareness. The student who answers the maximum number of questions correctly in a minute will get a scholarship of up to Rs 25,000. The winner's school will also be rewarded.

'Edutainment' for kids

As 45 lakh children are now under lockdown at home, an online program - 'Avadhikala Santhoshangal' - for students has been set up in collaboration with KITE SCERT.

Students from class 5 to 9 can avail the service through the portal

E-resources for students from class 1 to 12 are also available on the site.

'Alphabet Tree' for kids during lockdown

The Department of Education has issued the guidelines for the 'Akshara Vraksham' (Alphabet Tree) project which is meant to keep school kids occupied during the lockdown period. Children from classes 1 to 12 may contribute their stories, poems and articles to the website prepared by KITE. Selected contributions from the site will be published into an SCERT book.

Students have to send their submissions to their class teachers before April 20. The schools will have to upload the artciles on the site through their respective login ids.

Deadline for entrance applications

The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Tuesday extended the last date for submission of entrance test forms at seven major educational institutions in the view of the coronavirus outbreak.

The seven institutions include Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where the last date for submission of applications has now been extended till April 30.

For the UGC-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET)-June 2020, the new last date is May 16 and May 15 for the CSIR-National Eligibility Test (CSIR-NET)-June 2020.

The last date for the All India AYUSH Postgraduate Entrance Test is May 31.

Date of birth rectification in EPFO records online

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has issued revised instructions to facilitate PF members to rectify their date of birth in EPFO records, thus ensuring that their UAN is KYC compliant. Aadhaar will now be accepted as valid proof of date of birth for the purpose of rectification, provided that the difference in the two dates is less than 3 years. The PF subscribers can submit the correction requests online.

Deadline for TDS exemption forms

The Income Tax Department has allowed individuals to submit Form 15G and 15H for the current fiscal after June 30 for claiming exemption from TDS on interest income.

Forms 15G and 15H are filed by persons whose incomes are below the taxable threshold, to seek exemption from TDS on interest income.

These forms are usually submitted by taxpayers to banks and financial institutions in April.

Free treatment

Testing and treatment for COVID-19 will be free of cost for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries at private laboratories and empanelled hospitals.

Hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) can use their authorised testing facilities or tie-up with an authorised testing facility. Treatment of COVID-19 by private hospitals will be covered under the AB-PMJAY.

Free medicines for poor and needy at RCC

Poor and needy patients undergoing treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvanthapuram will be supplied medicines free of cost at their respective homes, RCC director informed. State Youth Commission and the Fire and Rescue Department have volunteered to undertake the task. Those in need of medicines will have to contact the State Youth Commission and Fire and Rescue Department in their respective districts.

Police to deliver medicines

Kerala state police chief Loknath Behra has informed that the police department has made arrangements to deliver life-saving drugs to the those in critical condition or battling serious health issues.

Special vehicles have been arranged for this purpose in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

Additionally, the Highway patrol vehicles can also be used for the same. If you are in need of this service dial 112.

She-taxi for elderly

She taxi service will now be available from Sunday onwards for the elderly who wish to visit doctors or buy medicines. Initially, the service will be available within a 15km radius of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode only.

Contact: 7306701200, 7306701400.

For those below the poverty line, this will be a completely free service and for others, government-approved rates per kilometre will be applicable.

Disha helpline for pregnant women

Pregnant women in Kerala are advised not to visit the hospital unless in cases of emergency and should take advice from their doctor through the phone. They should also wear masks at all times. In case they show COVID-19 symptoms, instead of visiting their doctor or hospital, they must contact them over the telephone or call the Disha helpline (1056).

For women's health issues, the following doctors are available:

Dr Shivakumari - 9497622682, Dr Sidhi - 9495148480, Dr Simi Mahadevan - 9895066994, Dr Eena - 8606802747, Dr Bindu P S – 9447749093, Dr Roshni - 7012311393, Dr Bini K B - 9895822936, Dr Prabeesh M - 9447721344, Dr Aparna – 8281928963, Dr Tintu - 9446094412.

Free counselling

If you are stressed out about not being able to go out or suffering from COVID-19 or other diseases, the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Kozhikode has launched counselling via telephone from 9am to 9pm.

For phone numbers click on this link.

The All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) is also providing free counselling for stress. They can be contacted between 8am to 8pm (Men - 9642229636, Women - 9497310934).

Online food delivery till 8pm

Hotel, takeaway counters delivering food via online services have been permitted till 8pm. Earlier, they were only allowed until 5pm in the evening.

All other delivery options will continue to be allowed only till 5pm.

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