Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 21 (ANI): The lockdown in Kerala has been extended till May 30 while the triple lockdown will continue in Malappuram district to tackle the second wave of Covid-19, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday.
While the triple lockdown in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram will be lifted on May 22 morning, it will continue to remain in effect in Malappuram.
"In the districts where triple lockdown was imposed, except in Malappuram, test positivity rate (TPR) has come down below 25 per cent and the active caseload has also come down. Therefore, the triple lockdown will be exempted in Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Thiruvananthapuram districts from Saturday morning. The triple lockdown will continue in Malappuram while the regular lockdown will continue in all other districts," Chief Minister said.
The triple lockdown was announced on May 16, for four district -Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Malappuram. The districts were divided into zones and higher police officials were put in charge of each area.
The Chief Minister has earlier said that drones would be used to see if there is crowding in the areas of triple lockdown and geo-fencing would be implemented to find out if people are skipping quarantine.
The state on Friday reported 29,673 new Covid-19 cases from 1,33,558 samples that were tested during the last 24 hours. The test positivity rate is 22.22 per cent. Meanwhile, 142 deaths were also registered on Friday due to Covid-19. This is the highest number of deaths to be reported on any single day so far taking the death toll in the state to 6,994. Presently, there are 3,06,346 persons under treatment in the state even as 41,032 patients have recovered from the disease on Friday. Thiruvananthapuram district has the highest number of 4,151 new Covid positive cases.
"Ours is still one of the states with the highest number of reported cases in the country. Despite the declining number of cases, health experts say the death toll in Kerala is likely to rise in the coming days. The deaths happening now are a result of the infection that happened two to six weeks earlier when the outbreak was at its peak," the Chief Minister added.
Meanwhile, the Thrissur Municipal Corporation has started using drones to spray sanitiser in public places like markets, bus stands, and hospital premises on Friday.
Pinarayi Vijayan further said that the government is exploring the possibility of vaccine production in the state with the Institute of Advanced Virology examining whether it is feasible to open manufacturing units of vaccine companies on their campus. The CM informed that the experts in this field, the State Council for Science, Technology, and Environment, and the scientists from the Institute of Advanced Virology, will conduct a webinar to reach an agreement on this.
Regarding the black fungus, he said such cases were reported in Kerala even before the Covid-19 outbreak.
"The black fungus cases have not increased in the state and there is no need for any panic about it. The state government will ensure that there is adequate medicine available and will also run an awareness campaign to clear any misconceptions regarding it," he said.
Vijayan also informed that Kerala Medical Service Corporation has placed an order for 50,000 doses of the antiviral 2-DG drug for treating Covid, which is expected to arrive in June. (ANI)