Kerala imposes complete weekend lockdown following spike in COVID-19 cases
As Kerala continues to witness a spike in COVID-19 cases, CM Pinarayi Vijayan-led government has decided to enforce a complete weekend lockdown in the state on July 31 and August 1 to curb the virus spread. Meanwhile, the Centre is dispatching a six-member team to Kerala to assess the situation there and aid the civil administration in dealing with the surging infections. Here's more.
To note, Kerala has seen a marked surge in coronavirus infections lately, registering over 22,000 cases consecutively on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Kerala will be under complete lockdown on July 31 and August 1 in view of the spike in cases, according to the state government. To recall, the Kerala government earlier imposed a complete lockdown last weekend, on July 24-25, as well.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday tweeted the Centre is sending a six-member team—led by the Director of National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) SK Singh—to Kerala. The team will arrive in the state on Friday. "As large number of COVID cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid state's ongoing efforts in COVID-19 management (sic)," wrote the minister.
On Wednesday, Kerala recorded as many as 22,056 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases in the state is reportedly over 1.5 lakh. The state government authorities have also identified some of the worst-hit districts due to the recent spike in infections. They include Malappuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kottayam.
According to an official order issued by Kerala's Chief Secretary Dr. VP Roy, the existing categorization of Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) and restrictions/relaxations based on seven-day test positivity rates will continue to be in place. The government also directed District Collectors to identify/demarcate micro-containment zones across all districts and ensure intensified restrictions are imposed in such regions to reduce the number of cases.
On the other hand, India on Thursday morning reported 43,509 fresh coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, pushing the overall nationwide tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,15,28,114. Also, 640 new fatalities were recorded in the same period, taking the country's death toll to 4,22,662. The number of active cases in India, however, has once again breached the four lakh mark.