Lockdown extended in Kerala till May 30

Thiruvananthapuram:┬áKerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said as daily Covid cases are coming down, it has been decided to lift the ‘triple lockdown’ imposed in four districts, save from Malappuram, but the state-wide lockdown has been extended till May 30.

He said the day saw 29,673 people turn positive after 1,33,558 samples were sent for testing in the past 24 hours.

Presently, there are 3,06,346 active cases in the state while 41,032 people turned negative, taking the total cured to 19,79,919.

Vijayan pointed out that the average test positivity rate in the past three days has become 23.3 per cent while it was 22.22 on Friday and hence, it was decided to lift the triple lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts but Malappuram district will continue to be under the severe restriction as things are not that good there.

“But the state will be under lockdown and all the earlier norms will have to be followed till May 30. What we have come to find out is that the number of dead is increasing… it touched 142 on Friday. It is reported that the death rate can be high. It was on May 2, the state recorded the highest ever positive tally of 43,529 cases and it has been found out that the period of 2 to 6 weeks after turning positive is crucial and hence Kerala will have to be on a high alert for the next three weeks. All hospitals have been asked to reassess their ventilator and oxygen supplies,” he said.

The lockdown was in place till Sunday.

Vijayan also said that black fungus was prevalent in the state even before Covid and the present reports of cases need not be a worrying cause, but proper awareness on this issue will be carried out.

He also said that 50,000 doses of the new drug developed by the DRDO have been ordered besides talks with vaccine companies for procurement has also started.

Across the state, there were 9,88,009 people under observation, including 38,709 at hospitals.

Vijayan also said that on Friday, over 13,000 cases was registered against people for violating Covid norms and a fine of Rs 34 lakh was collected.

He said when he called up superstar Mohanlal to wish him on his 61st birthday, he was told that the Trust of his parents will donate 200 beds to various hospitals in the state.

In reply to a question in Kerala will also follow the lead of some states which have decided to remove the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the vaccination certificate, he said that the need of the hour is not the picture, it is the urgent availability of vaccines and they are working to get it.